Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Friday, December 29, 2006

Connections: Malachi 2:1-16 with poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, Whoever grasps

Daily Readings
Isaiah 64, I Maccabees 14, Malachi 2:1-16, Luke 22

Daily Text: Malachi 2:1-16

The covenant with Levi is highlighted in Malachi 2:1-16. For in it is set the expectation that the priest will instruct young and old, to model reverence for the Name, to guard knowledge, and to live in integrity and right living. The problems are several: the priests say the words, but do not mean and certainly do not live them. For these reasons God will curse their blessings, that is, contradict even their most sacred pronouncements.

Verses 10-12 set the expectation for loyalty within the religious family of Judah, but not only is that not forthcoming, these priests do not even keep faith within their own personal families. Their wives are sent away, and God hates sending away. When this occurs there is little chance of raising one’s children in the godly life. In reality loss of integrity in any part of one’s life leads to that loss in every other part. All of life is connected; all spirit is connected.

Whoever grasps
Rainer Maria Rilke

Whoever grasps the thousand contradictions of his life,
pulls them together into a single image, that man, joyful
and thankful, drives the rioters out of the palace,
becomes celebratory in a different way, and you are the guest
whom he receives on the quiet evenings.

You are the second person in his solitude,
the tranquil hub of his talking with himself;
and every circle he draws around you
lifts him out of time on those compass legs.

Collect for the Day
Gracious God, in times of sorrow and depression, when hope itself seems lost, help us to remember the transforming power of your steadfast love and to give thanks for that new life we cannot now imagine. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

[476:812:Psalm 79 Psalm prayer]


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