Let us begin with the first reading from Isaiah. The author uses the word foreigners to describe those joining themselves to the Lord. There is no duplicity in the message. The passage ends with the writer describing a house that will be a house of prayer for all people. I imagine a church that upon review includes people of all races. I happen to live in an area that is reflective of that. However, our presiding priest today challenged us to look deep inside ourselves in wake of the Charlottesville tragedy. Where do we have prejudices that are not always evident. Are we reflective of this house that the Book of Isaiah describes?
Psalm 67 responsorial is "O God, let all the nations praise you." Once again a message of inclusivity. The Gospel message of love is not just for selected people it is for all. I know that it is quite easy to discriminate thinking that a certain group is selected to hold the Gospel truth, but somehow I don't think that would be Jesus' message.
Paul in the Letter to the Romans implores the Gentiles to follow the Gospel message. He utilizes the word mercy as God is merciful with those who once disobeyed and wandered away. The final sentence states " For God delivered all to disobedience that he might have mercy upon all. Once again the word all stands out.
Even in turbulent times such as what we are encountering in our nation and throughout the world we are asked to be faithful. Yes I would like many people to be fixed and would love to have an audience with God in which I could present such a list. But that once again would be my plan. God is a God of surprises, to borrow Gerard Hughes book title. In my own life I can reflect on numerous times God when I allow God to drive the car that I have been pleasantly rewarded by His mercy and grace. The very fact that I am writing this blog is one. Going to God daily and praying for those who pursue the message of hate is important to me, for without this exercise I know that I can become hateful as well interiorly. That is why Scripture is important for me.
The word of God does not have to be that booming authoritative voice emanating from heaven. It can be found in Scripture and nothing is more evident than that today amidst the violence that continues to divide out nation. The challenge becomes loving those whose purposeful intent is to spread hate and violence. We are a nation that is made up of many peoples, beliefs, and religions and as the readings today provide us we are all one.