1 min read
15 Jan

Don’t let the second line of this week’s prayer fool you. We are not asking God to help us earn His favor, we are asking Him to help us pick dandelions. This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Almighty ever-living God, direct our actions according to your good pleasure, that in the name of your beloved Son we may abound in good works. 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.

Today we ask God to direct our actions according to His good pleasure. In the Latin form of the prayer, we find the words, beneplacito tuo, which is more literally translated as “what pleases you well.”

Like I said earlier, we are not going to work at earning God’s favor, which can also be called performance mentality, it is about truly desiring to please God out of love (also known as Fear of the Lord.)

This prayer presents an interesting progression: God created humanity, God knows best what will fulfill us, and we are fulfilled when we act in ways that please God.

What ties this progression together is Jesus. He is our role model for these actions. God created humanity and Jesus fulfilled our human nature. He acted according to God’s good pleasure, or he chose what would please the Father well. In the prayer we ask that it’s through His name that we abound in good works. We even close this prayer asking that God hear and answer our prayer through Jesus.

Where do the dandelions come in? When my sons were small, it would happen every spring… They would walk in the door, smiling, with beautiful bouquets of dandelions in their hands, just for me. They didn’t need to earn my love, they knew they already had it. Their gift of dandelions was given out of love. The dandelions were placed in a glass of water and were proudly displayed on the dining room table and that burst of yellow made my day.

I loved those dandelions just like they were roses because they were given out of love, and I loved those smiling little givers more than their gift. Just imagine if our actions were intentionally done out of love for God, yes, including the hard things we need to do for the people who are hard to love. Each of those actions would bring forth a good work (the picking would bring forth a beautiful dandelion.)

The Father would have the same response for every flower that I give to Him, “Look what my son (or daughter) gave me!” and he would proudly put each flower on display to remind him (and maybe to show off to others) of this love.

This prayer also reminds us of our identity, found in the first line of our progression: God created humanity. He is the parent who is so full of love and proud of his children. It must break His heart when His children forget that and when they believe the lie that they must earn His love. If you find yourself on that path, stop trying to clean yourself up and start looking around for some dandelions. As you pick each dandelion remember that as you present it to your Father, while he loves your gift, he only loves it because he loves the giver.

The prayer closes asking that our picking of dandelions, or our actions, would abound in dandelions, or good works. What makes our good works “good” is when they are done out of sacrificial love and as a gift for the other.

In the Latin form of the prayer we find the word abundare which used for abound. To abound, or abundare, means to have something in large measure. May you be abundantly blessed with dandelions - figuratively, of course.

Thanks for praying with me,

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