Let us lectio: The Wealth of the Nations
50th Anniversary Mass of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Aug. 21, 2019
Steps to Lectio Divina
Start by using these steps to reflect on the Scripture verse. Then read my meditation slowly.
Lectio: Having asked for the grace to hear God's word, read the passage twice.
Meditatio: During the second reading, pause whenever so moved and reflect on a word, a sentence, or an image that strikes you.
Oratio: Speak directly to God, and open your reflection to Him.
Contemplatio: Listen contemplatively for any response God might choose to make. Remember that God responds to us at times with loving silence.
From the First Reading for the 50th Anniversary Mass of the Diocese of Fort Worth (Isaiah 60:1-6)
Arise! Shine, for your light has come, the glory of the LORD has dawned upon you.
Though darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds, the peoples,
Upon you the LORD will dawn, and over you his glory will be seen.
Nations shall walk by your light, kings by the radiance of your dawning.
Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you—
Your sons from afar, your daughters in the arms of their nurses.
Then you shall see and be radiant, your heart shall throb and overflow.
For the riches of the sea shall be poured out before you,
the wealth of nations shall come to you.
Caravans of camels shall cover you, dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense,
and heralding the praises of the LORD.
Fifty years is such a short time in the life of the Church. But like all anniversaries, this one is an opportunity to stop and recall Christ, our foundation, and to evaluate our faithfulness to His call.
In doing so, today we recall a prophecy from Isaiah: Nations come from near and far in throngs to be near to the Lord and they bring Him the wealth of their land. In these days, we see that prophecy manifested in diocesan Masses — such as the 50th anniversary Mass we will celebrate Aug. 21 — and in the Easter liturgies. At Mass, we gather as a people and a family of God. We look around and see His sons and daughters coming from the far corners of creation. This is the glory of God made manifest. This is the creation who willingly returns to Him with the best fruits of their lives.
We are created to love and to worship Him. We are created to give Him honor, glory, and praise — and in doing so bring Him the finest fruits of our labors. At Mass, we who are among the laity especially, make up a throng from all over the world who return to God once again. Symbols in the Mass serve many purposes, not only can they show how a prophecy has been fulfilled but they can simultaneously point to how a prophecy will be fulfilled when Jesus comes again "to judge the living and the dead."
The gathering of the people of God during Mass should be a reminder of our baptismal call to be worthy of being in this gathering of the faithful before Him. Today, let us ask ourselves whether we do so in a way that makes the heart of God rejoice. Are we radiant with love for Him? And do we approach His throne and altar with full fidelity of faith? Or, do we strive for our own image of the Church, to the detriment of our neighbor? Do we come seeking renown, praise, and recognition? Or do we humbly approach the Lord in love, wishing to hold nothing back from Him?
Callie Nowlin, MTS, is a regular contributor to the North Texas Catholic.
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.