Wed, 11 October 2017
(Mal.3:13-20; Ps.1:1-4,6,40:5; Lk.11:5-13)
“For you who fear my name,
there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.”
Both our psalm and first reading make clear the distinction between the blessed and the condemned: “The Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes,” our psalmist declares. The wicked are “like chaff which the wind drives away,” while the just are “like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade.” Malachi proclaims the same. Where the Lord is healing rays of warmth to the just, for the wicked He comes “blazing like an oven… leaving them neither root nor branch.” For one, His fire is holy and life-giving; for the other, it destroys.
And what is the sign that we “fear the Lord and trust in His name”? Malachi speaks of “going about in penitential dress” and states, “They who fear the Lord spoke with one another, and the Lord listened attentively.” Our psalmist tells us the just “delights in the law of the Lord, and meditates on His law day and night.” We must be repentant of our sins and come humbly before Him. We must recognize, as Jesus tells us, that we indeed are ones “with all [our] sins.” This is first. But most importantly we must trust in Him and turn to Him, and pray in His Name. For “the heavenly Father give[s] the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” He is not remiss in making them His own. He wishes all to be blessed and come before Him whole. But we must not fail to seek His will, to seek His way, to beg it of our God. We cannot be remiss in asking and seeking and knocking, for this persistence proves our love of Him and of His way, and by it we will find Him.
Brothers and sisters, there is nothing more important or more powerful than prayer. It is our way of coming to Him and becoming one with Him. It is at the heart of the distinction “between him who serves God, and him who does not serve Him.” For all that we do will come to naught if not done in His presence, and it is only by prayer we enter the presence of His holy light. First and always we must have faith, yes. First and always we must believe. But now and ever we must seek Him; forever we must ask His grace to come into our lives. And He will hear. He will “give [His] children good things.” So neglect not to remain in the presence of God and your reward will be assured, and you will know the blessed light of His face.
O LORD, give to us the Holy Spirit,
that in all things we might follow along the way
of your Son.
YHWH, we ask for your grace and mercy, your compassion upon our souls, that we might not be burned up with the wicked on your holy Day but stand blessed in the light of your face. Let us be healed of all sin and come to serve you with all our hearts, leaving behind all doubt of your glory and trusting in your goodness toward us. For you have made us and we are your own if we but have faith in you and come humbly before you with our petitions.
Yes, let us ask you for what we need, for all good things, those in accord with your will. If our hearts are set on serving you and others, what will you not give us? For then we will truly be your sons. But, O LORD, if we should turn our sights upon the advancement of our own name, seeking to prosper by doing evil, the wind shall indeed drive us away, and we shall perish in unholy fire.