This week, we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
O God, who teach us that you abide in hearts that are just and true, grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace as to become a dwelling pleasing to you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
This is a good week to look at some definitions that we think we know, but the words, when translated from the Latin form the prayer, may have a different nuance to the meaning.
What struck me about this prayer is the matter-of-fact way it tells us a lot about God’s kind of people: Those who are just and true. Those who are virtuous, righteous, pure, genuine, and whole. These are the people we read about in the readings this weekend (Year B).
The Psalmist writes about a man who took hold of God’s grace, repented and was forgiven, “Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just; exult, all you upright of heart.” That should be us, too! Glad and rejoicing!
The Gospel tells us about a leper who was healed. A leper came to Jesus kneeled down, begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus, moved with pity, touched the leper, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leper was made whole when Jesus healed him. He couldn’t keep his excitement, he told everyone about it.
But as inviting and hopeful these verses are, there’s a catch: we can’t do it on our own and Jesus won’t force us. Becoming a dwelling place for God takes his grace, and our cooperation. In a talk that I heard this week, the speaker said that each heart is locked and that the lock has two keys. You have one key and God has the other. Your key goes in the lock first, and then God’s key will work. God can’t force his grace to work in our lives, we need to be open. What we get in return is a heart that is true and just and a dwelling place for God.
Lectio the Liturgy: Read about the joy that David has in Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 11. Read Psalm 22:3: “God inhabits the praise of his people.” When challenges come up in your life this week, keep these scriptures handy-on a sticky note if you need to! In your heart, just and true, you will find that God is near. <br> Thank you for praying with me this week!