Taste and See: The dawn of the kingdom

Bound feet of SatanThe Psalm for Mass on Sunday, the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, had us join Israel and the Church in praising God for God’s faithfulness and God’s power.

My soul, give praise to the Lord. or Alleluia!

It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,
who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
the Lord, who sets prisoners free,

My soul, give praise to the Lord. or Alleluia!

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,
who raises up those who are bowed down,
the Lord, who protects the stranger
and upholds the widow and orphan.

My soul, give praise to the Lord. or Alleluia!

It is the Lord who loves the just
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever,
Zion’s God, from age to age.

My soul, give praise to the Lord. or Alleluia!

Psalm 145:6-10

Maybe we also squirmed a little as we sang.

As maybe we would do again – perhaps especially clergy – when it came to the Gospel and its words about those in long robes, given places of honour and greeted obsequiously. Even if (and how big is the if?)… even if we do not like or want those things, there is sin and fault in us.

As we praise the Lord for his goodness and power, we need to acknowledge that either because of our personal sin and failure, as well as our inevitable and unavoidable implication in the structures of sin, we have a responsibility for those things which drag down those the Lord raises up; which denies food to the hungry and so on. And on. And on.

Our prayer, our song, needs also be a song of gratitude that God does what God does despite us, even as we pray that we may be freed to do more of what is God’s will for us and for our neighbour.

The bound feet of Satan: detail of Epstein’s St Michael, Coventry Cathedral (c) 2014, Allen Morris.

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