This blog provides a meditation on the Episcopal daily readings along with a headline from world news:
IRISH ECONOMY DESTROYED BY GREED AND COMPLICITY OF RULING BODIES-REPORT SAYS
PSALM 74: 12-23
12 Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the earth.
13 You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
15 You cut openings for springs and torrents;
you dried up ever-flowing streams.
16 Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you established the luminaries and the sun.
17 You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
you made summer and winter.
18 Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
and an impious people reviles your name.
19 Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
do not forget the life of your poor for ever.
20 Have regard for your covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.
21 Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
let the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.
23 Do not forget the clamour of your foes,
the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.
There s something healthy about the psalms: the writers know that whatever the faults of their people, these are nothing in comparison with those of their powerful oppressors. And they cry out to God for some justice. I think these psalms belong to the poor of the earth today, whose lives are blighted by the careless, violent powers that rule the earth, the G8 and their allies along with the exploitative elites of their own nations. They can pray, “Do not forget the life of your poor forever; remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.” The church should be ready to join in their prayer. Only in this way do the psalms truly belong to the church.
27 ‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—“Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ 29The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ 30Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ 33He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34The crowd answered him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?’ 35Jesus said to them, ‘The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.’
After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.
The secret that the psalmist didn’t know is that the “ruler of this world”, that is, the power of evil and its attendant human rulers, will be driven out by the demonstration of God’s glory in Jesus’ death on the cross! Jesus himself will be snuffed out, as so many others have been and will be, by the ultimate instrument of rejection at the disposal of the worldly powers. The “greater love” shown by this death will draw all people to him and leave the ruler of this world without hegemony. Ah, but that will take forever, what about now?
Now is the time of judgement, when by our choice or rejection of Jesus, the blood-brother of the oppressed, we decide to walk in light or darkness. Now is the time when, even if our trust wavers in face of the cross, we can put ourselves in the only place from which resurrection and forgiveness will be visible.