Irrevocable . . . and inscrutable, two words from today's first reading that struck me and led me to consider or contemplate the beauty of God once again. In this section of his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul is discussing his relationship with his fellow Jews who have not yet received the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
One of my childhood memories is of my mother’s jewelry box, a small, green, padded music box which played the Irving Berlin tune: “Always.” The lyrics go something like this: “I’ll be loving you, always; with a love that’s true, always.” The jewelry box was given to my mother by my father long before I was born, and I never heard it play the tune until after my father died when I was six years old. Whenever my mother would be readying herself for her shift at the local hospital, we children would sit in her room while she dressed and would listen to the music box.
Today's reading from the Letter to the Romans is what triggered these thoughts. St. Paul uses the word "irrevocable" in describing our relationship with God. That words simply means that God's love for us is "always," "forever," "undying." God will never abandon us even though God has been abandoned more times than we could possibly imagine. St. Paul goes on to say that such a loving relationship is "inscrutable," that we will never fully understand the depth of God's ways or the breadth of God's love. Our human mind is simply too limited, too small to comprehend such a faithful love. That doesn't mean, however, that we can't keep trying to do just that. Indeed, sitting with the reality of God's love is the very prayerful activity which we call "contemplation." Indeed, it's a worthwhile effort and beneficial for the soul.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator