for Sunday, July 4, 2010
Sometimes even we more modern people can be a bit embarrassed at the strong
imagery in the first reading today, from the Prophet Isaiah. On the other
hand this is one of the clear images that give us a picture of God as
mother, as feminine and as loving us with a mother's love. The image is of
a mother with abundant breasts, a mother who is happy to nurse her baby, a
mother who delights in giving all that is good to her child.
This is an image of God and an image of the Church as the mystical body.
The challenge for each of us is to accept the love and nursing of the Lord.
Sometimes we want to act so grownup that we refuse this cuddling and
coddling from our God.
This image from Isaiah is seen even more clearly when we look at today's
Gospel from Saint Luke. Here we are given an image of what happens to
those who refuse to listen to the word of God. This image is strong: it
will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.
So today we have the image of warm and motherly love and strict and
rejecting result if we do not accept the word. Is one image better than
the other. Most likely we are more comfortable with a God who loves us
with gentle and motherly love than we are with a God who seems to threaten
us. We have to ask ourselves, though, if this is not perhaps a particular
weakness of our own time, when we do not want to hear or experience
anything that is negative.
It is almost as though we could say that if there is no negative, then
there is no positive, either. Does God simply accept all that we do as
good? If not, then we must ask ourselves what images we would use for a
God who can love but who can also accept us when we reject Him? The image
today is not so much God rejecting us, but God having to relate to those
who reject Him and His will and ways.
In his letter to the Galatians, Saint Paul exclaims: May I never boast
except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has
been crucified to me, and I to the world. This gives another insight into
today's readings. Is my concern only to live in the Lord and accept His
will? Am I willing to suffer with the Lord? Or do I still look on
salvation as something that I must win by my works and good deeds?
May my relationship with God, with the Lord Jesus, with the Spirit, be so
strong and personal that all I want is to do God's Holy Will! If my desire
is not that strong, may I find ways to strengthen and deepen it. May God
be at work in me and in you so that our lives may give glory and praise to
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: