Today we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Almighty ever-living God, who in the abundance of your kindness surpass the merits and the desires of those who entreat you, pour out your mercy upon us to pardon what conscience dreads and to give what prayer does not dare to ask. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
There’s a phrase in the Who, or the description of God, in this week’s prayer that I’ve been thinking about all week. It is the “abundance of your kindness” and it made me wonder how God, who is rich in kindness, seems too often get a bad rap.
Sometimes things just always seem to be God’s fault. The weather was bad. Someone caught covid and missed vacation. I’ve even had someone tell me that their mom had a stroke and passed away, and now they’re mad at God and won’t go to church. It’s seems like it’s too often too easy to just blame God.
I recently listened to a talk given by Fr. Mike Schmitz. In it, he described four ways that we change God. Fr. Mike said that we tend to make God our toy by getting God off the shelf when we want to play and put him back when we’re done with him. Sometimes we can try to make God be our talisman, our good luck charm. Fr. Mike also said that God can be our therapist, someone who is there just to make us feel better; and we can try to make God our twin when we make God in our own image and likeness. God likes what I like and he thinks how I think. How great is that!
So when it comes to asking God to pardon what conscience dreads and being brave enough to ask for what’s in our heart, no wonder we’re afraid. We’ve lost sight of the fact that God, the almighty ever-living God, is love.
Kindness, or pietatis in the Latin form in the prayer, means affection, love, kindness, and faithfulness to natural ties. It’s hard to imagine a God that good if we want to make God fit into our mold.
How do we fix it? We let go of who we think God is, we let go of our assumptions, and surrender to his heart.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is to let God love us just as we are, with our fears, sins, and the things our conscious dreads. In turn, we choose to love God as He is, a God with an abundance of kindness.
Thanks for praying with me.