Facing our deepest fears

Facing our deepest fears

Readings for the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Bad news sells. Just turn on the TV, scroll through your social media feed, or check the show times for the latest dystopian, nature striking back, zombie apocalypse blockbuster. One recent media study tallied an average of 17 bad news reports for every feel-good story on local news. Some psychological research claims that humans’ primal hunter-gatherer brains have never stopped looking for danger around every corner. We’re wired to be attracted to disaster, scandal, and chaos.

Our readings today might seem to fall into that same pattern, except for one significant point. Those with faith aren’t immune to disaster, nor do they pretend that “everything’s fine.” Rather, our faith and hope in Christ is what enables us to stand in the face of darkness and doom, and, as the first reading proclaims, within that darkness, “shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament.”

In a similar way, our Sunday liturgy is never a retreat from the world’s chaos. Instead, our faith calls us to bring into the liturgy itself the world’s despair, to face it head on with the hope of the Gospel, and to raise it up to God and ask the Spirit to transform it into the wholeness and holiness of Christ. Most especially when darkness closes in, we must let our faith and hope shine like the stars.

Our faith calls us to bring into the liturgy itself the world’s despair, to face it head on with the hope of the Gospel. Click To Tweet
 
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”

Image credit: Tyler Nix, unsplash, CC0.

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