2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2019
“Too Beautiful! Too Simple! Too Good! (Fr. Bill)
My dear Children of God:
God speaks to us today through Isaiah the Prophet, St Paul the Apostle, and St John the Evangelist a Word which is too beautiful, too simple and too good. To hear it as such each one of us must hear it as though addressed specifically to myself and no one else. Yes, it is for you all, but that only works if it is for you each.
The message that God speaks to each one of us today is so beautiful that it captures our hearts – so we don’t listen to it for fear of being drawn in, captivated and possessed by God. I tell myself “If I believe this I might lose my independence, my freedom; I might lose myself.” Most of us today are sitting next to someone who once did that to us; so much so that we wanted to be fully possessed by that totally beautiful other. Since our love is imperfect we have hurt each other and so we erect barriers to prevent being hurt in the future. The too-Beautiful-Message from God: “I love you. You are ‘My Delight.’”
Throughout the week I reflected on this again and again. It was easy to believe for you – all and each. But when I’d try to apply it to myself my natural response was: “Say what? Are You talking to me? You know what I am really like! There must be something wrong with You!” He didn’t respond to my folly but my own heart did, “You know there is nothing wrong with Him.” And I’d argue my point, “That’s what I mean. There is something wrong with me.” And then, having regrettably ‘proven’ my point, I’d pause and in that silence He’d softly repeat: “I love you. You are ‘My delight’”
Isaiah elaborates on this message saying, “You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord, a royal diadem held by your God.” That is you, a golden crown that the King takes from His head holding it in His hand so He can admire its jeweled beauty.
Isaiah continues, “You shall be called ‘My Delight.’ … For the Lord delights in you.” Again I respond, “In me??? How? Why?” I stop just short of repeating the folly of asking Him again, “What is wrong with You?” and instead just let the beauty of God’s love for me surround me and capture my heart.
Isaiah wraps it up for today saying, “As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you.” As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride on their wedding day! As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride on their wedding night! As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride on their wedding anniversary celebrating 47 years of days and nights for better and for worse.
The message that God speaks to us today is so simple that any child of God can understand it – so we complicate it with ‘ifs, ands and buts’ for fear of being childish. I tell myself, “If I believe this I might feel foolish or, worse, appear foolish to others particularly my peers.” The Too-Simple-Message from God: “I love you. You are ‘My Delight.’” When Daddy or Mommy picks up a 2-year-old child and speaks this message of love the child just giggles and hugs his or her neck as tight as a 2-year-old can. That is why Jesus told us that we must be like little children. It really is that simple.
The message that God speaks to us today is so amazing that it is too good to be true – and so we don’t really believe it for fear of being taken in, ‘sold a bill of goods’, bamboozled, suckered, deceived, betrayed. I tell myself, “If I believe this I am leaving myself vulnerable to being hurt.” The wounded child in me throws a layer of protection over my vulnerability with the wisdom of a well-schooled skeptic, “If it sounds too good to be true, it is.” And yet my heart longs for the Too-Good-Message from God: “I love you. You are ‘My Delight.’”
Just one more thing: In today’s Gospel, Mary tells us how to access this too beautiful, too simple, too good message of God’s amazing love. She tells the servants and she tells us, “Do whatever He tells you.” That’s all. Couldn’t it be something more dramatic, more romantic, more extreme, more – well, more anything? Obedience is so dull. And so difficult! But it is the key. All you have to do is ‘whatever He tells you’ and you will hear over and over again an amazing message from God that is too beautiful, too simple, and too good: “I love you. You are ‘My Delight.’”