Thus says the Lord:
‘Have a care for justice, act with integrity, for soon my salvation will come and my integrity be manifest.
Foreigners who have attached themselves to the Lord to serve him and to love his name and be his servants – all who observe the sabbath, not profaning it, and cling to my covenant – these I will bring to my holy mountain. I will make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their holocausts and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.’
First reading of 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Time and again, and with no little help from their Scriptures, Israel defines itself against its neighbours: we are the chosen ones of God, and they…. they are foreigners.
And time and time again the scriptures suggest there is more to be said. Israel is Israel but often unfaithful to the covenant with God; and the foreigner, well often the point is made that he or she is faithful and, as here, is also privileged by God.
And so, the guidance of the prophet to Israel: ‘Have a care for justice, act with integrity, for soon my salvation will come and my integrity be manifest…’ Learn to love and learn to live love.
Stone carving. Worcester Cathedral. (c) 2017, Allen Morris