Friday 21 August 2020

About Today Readings

St Pius X. Day of penance

Ezekiel 37:1-14. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting – Psalm 106(107):2-9. Matthew 22:34-40.

The commandments of love

The readings today form a harmony of contrasts, reminding us of the diversity of experiences we can have while reading the Bible.

The first is the most famous passage from Ezekiel, and it spawned the well-known Spiritual by James Weldon Johnson, ‘Dry Bones’ – listen to it sometime for an experience of playful joy! The Lord performs the impossible – skeletal remains are, piece by piece, reformed into living humans. It is a vivid picture – stunningly unforgettable – reminding us that God is the source of life and of life’s salvation.

The Gospel from Matthew also suggests an extremity of experience: ‘…love the Lord your God with all your heart … all your soul … all your mind.’

To be Christian is not to settle for mediocrity – life, life to the full, life down to your bones and, as Weldon Johnson put it in another of his hymns, life ‘high as the listening skies!’

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