Eucharistic Readings for Monday in the First Week of Lent
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” (Psalm 91:14)
I use a modified version of this verse after reading the Gospel at the service of Holy Eucharist. My version is first person plural in the second half of it. “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of “our” hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.”
This “our hearts” language comes not too long after we have asked God to cleanse the thoughts of our hearts. There is something comforting to say about a Christian spiritual community that quietly invites God to enter our heart and cleanse it and assist us with meditation. So many times we see in Scripture where God, or God’s representative, comes to people in their quiet moments.
Three of the places that I like are from Abraham from Genesis; Elijah from 1 Kings; and Mary from Luke. In Genesis, “The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.” (Gen 18:1) In 1 Kings we have, “The Lord said [to Elijah], “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by. (1Kings 19:11) And in the Gospel of Luke we have, “The angel went to her [Mary] and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28) These are all moments where the presence of God was mingled with the mind of mortals.
This is the same, timeless, God we have today, a God who still wants to mingle with us. I believe we are created to be a spiritual, peaceful people. We get anxious about many things. All we really need to do is just settle down and open the minds of our hearts. We who do this are few in number so we have to make room for God not only to be with us for ourselves, but to be with us for the benefit of others as well. God was with Abraham for the benefit of the World, God was with Elijah for the benefit of the Israelites. And God was with Mary again for the benefit of the world.
So we hear words from the Bible and hopefully we let these words sink deep into our hearts. These same words say different things to different people. In this way we need each other. This is God’s plan. None of us should be alone. We need each other. We need to talk to each other so that we can perceive what God is saying. Each and every one of us is a beautiful creature of God who God uses to sustain this earth, God’s beautiful place in the universe. I need you, you need me: God’s plan. So again to God I say; “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.” Amen.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” John Thomas Frazier Sr.