Thu, 22 November 2018
(Rv.10:8-11; Ps.119:14,24,72,103,111,131; Lk.19:45-48)
“I gasp with open mouth
in my yearning for your commands.”
In our first reading, John is told to “take the open scroll from the hand of the angel” and to “eat it.” In his mouth “it tasted as sweet as honey.” And now he who has eaten of the blessed word of God “must prophesy,” must speak the words upon the scroll, despite the sour stomach, the persecutions, it will inevitably bring.
In our gospel we hear that “the entire populace was listening to [Jesus] and hanging on His words” as He taught daily in the temple. The Lord has cleansed the temple of the impure forces at work within it, and for this and for His speaking the irresistible words of Truth He shall know the sour stomach of persecution – the cross is now quite close on the horizon as the leaders of the people seek “a way to destroy Him.”
O Lord, “how sweet to my palate are your promises, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” “The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” “Your decrees are my delight,” “the joy of my heart,” and despite the cross I find in consuming and then having to proclaim them, I shall not cease to eat of your glorious presence. Day to day you come to me. Moment to moment you whisper in my ear. You speak to my heart your wondrous promises, instilling faith and hope in my soul, and I shall not turn back from loving you. May all “peoples, nations, languages, and kings” know of your greatness; may all embrace the inheritance you offer by the death of sin in our lives.
Open your mouth, brothers and sisters, and He will fill it. He will feed you with the food that comes without cost; the sweet Bread of Heaven shall be yours. Even at His altars and from His pulpits it is today offered forth. Eat, and it will bring life to your soul, life that lasts beyond the destruction of the world.
O LORD, let us listen devoutly to your Word
that we might be cleansed of sin
and made whole in your sight.
YHWH, your words are sweeter to us than honey, and your NAME the sweetest Word of all. Speak to our soul this very day; let us hear your truth in our heart, though it bring persecution and trial.
As your Son let us be, O LORD, unafraid of the Cross which comes from doing your will. Let our concern be to cleanse your Temple, to make your House a house of prayer, though it bring the body’s destruction.
We are in your Temple, O LORD, and you call us to eat of your words and partake of your Son’s Body and Blood. This gives life to our very spirits, a life that does not pass away. Be our inheritance, all that we desire in this land.
LORD, we are unworthy to proclaim your words, to receive them in our souls and speak them to the world. How can we prophesy in your holy NAME? Let your Son be with us every step of the way; may His blood strengthen our service.