The readings for today are very special for me because my husband James and I chose this particular day⎯the Twenty-Eighth Sunday (in Cycle B)⎯as the date for our nuptials. Jim and I picked the date for our wedding from the Lectionary based on these readings because they spoke to us about our faith belief and our future together. We celebrate twenty-one years together! We were married in the presence of the St. Christopher Community during a regularly scheduled Saturday afternoon Mass with Fr. Rick Hartmann as the Church’s witness (and my former boss and pastor twice, the last time before I came to St. Aidan).
The First Reading is an exquisite piece of poetry from the Book of Wisdom comparing wisdom to a woman. If you turn from power, wealth and beauty in favor of wisdom, all good things will “come together in her company” for you, and you will receive “countless riches at her hands.” Certainly, in these terribly divisive times—where many choices seem driven by money, greed, power and profit—our hope and prayer would be that all persons (especially those in any position of leadership) would heed this wisdom from above. The riches you receive from wise choices and actions are not about your bottom line… This reading was Jim’s favorite of the readings today, as he said it represented how he felt to marry late in life, having finally found the right girl…
My personal favorite is the Psalm for today (#90): “Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy.” I love the ‘singing for joy’ as a response to being filled with God’s love. I feel that it describes what drives the Music Ministry! This Psalm is also a petition for God’s guidance, God’s wisdom and kindness—and we all have need of that—most especially at the start of forming any new family! We also pray in this Psalm that the care of God will be ours; and that He will prosper the work of our hands.
The New Testament reading from the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that “the word of God is living and effective, sharper than a two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” The Word of God cuts deep and to the bone. There is no hiding from the truth, no alternative facts, as we will all “render an account” to God for our words and deeds.
The Gospel today is the familiar story of the rich man compared to a camel passing through the eye of a needle. It is all about our priorities, our choices and our chances for salvation. This reading should cause us to pause and consider our lives and our behavior. The camel couldn’t pass easily through the eye of the “needle”—a gate in the wall of the city of Jerusalem—where those entering would have to stoop down to get in. Harder for a camel to do that…
These readings for this day, my Wedding Anniversary, the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B will ever be a reminder for Jim and me of God’s place in the everyday life of husband and wife and home. Today we ask for: the wisdom of God above all earthly things; to be filled with God’s love; to prosper our work; to live in the truth; and to choose salvation. The readings today use marriage as the paradigm relationship for all who are Baptized in Christ. God always, first and foremost; and we all need to love, honor and cherish each other. All things are possible with God. What a great gift! Happy Anniversary, Jim!
Just a Note: We still have room for new members in both of our choirs—the adults and the children. Still looking for guitarists and a bass player; and other wind players. This is a great opportunity to give your gifts of talent to the St. Aidan Community for the greater glory of God—please pray on it, then come and see me after any mass.
Another Note: All things are possible because our God is great and good.