“..how long, Lord, am I to cry for help while you will not listen?” whilst Habakkuk rants on in 1st reading with his evidence for the absence of God, as soon as he stops talking & listens, God speaks.. ..for the times we bombard him with a one way conversation & fail to listen to him in the silence & in the gentle breeze..
“..inscribe it on tablets to be easily read..” ; Lord have mercy “..if it comes slowly, wait..” ; Christ have mercy “..for come it will, without fail..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
“..Lord, increase our faith”..shared with you before Carl Jung’s three stages of life; 0-35 age of hero ; 35-50 age of wanderer ; over 50 age of wisdom..his key phrase for me is terming this final stage “the time when doubt is honoured as much as faith”; when we finally realise that we can at last learn how to live with the question mark..faith..no longer craving for answers from back of exercise book or penny catechism that quickly prove trite easy & empty..faith is to wait in hope in kairos time; our God is a 3mph God he acts at less than walking pace..like waiting for the kingfisher; all you can do is be where he is likely to appear & wait..”how long, Lord, am I to cry for help?” in gospel a disgruntled Jesus struggling in chronos BST time..as my mother would say occasionally “its been one of those days when I could have picked a fight with my shadow”..“when all you have done all you have been told to do, say “we are merely servants; we have done no more than our duty” perhaps we begin like Jesus, doing it out of duty/obedience; remember his words at another chronos moment of testing for him “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel”..sent..& gradually he & we realise that in ploughing, or minding the sheep or the children, when we begin to nurse a beloved loved one suffering the start of dementia or paralysed through a stroke, when Jesus himself was melted by persistence of mother desperate for cure for her dying daughter, he was eventually healed in his faith by her faith.. “woman you have great faith; let your wish be granted” when we, like Jesus himself, eventually settle to it heartfully, not just mindfully, the larger perspective begins to emerge..“Lord increase our faith”; his challenge of mustard seed & mulberry tree emerges from his own struggles in faith..a divine Jesus taking 33yrs learning how to become fully human; notice he died in age of the wanderer, he never made it to the age of wisdom..& you & I, fully human, taking a lifetime learning how to become fully divine.. work prayer & faith in progress..”increase our faith” & indeed he does through weave of our patience our expectancy & the realisation that we are fully present in the presence of God; a kairos moment “speak Lord your servant is listening”..we know you are there & we wait to hear your voice..”& why has God dealt me this hand? why have I met a man I really could love who is not free to love me?..oh what to do hey, what to do?” a Catholic mother of two in intimate relationship with three men at same time..if only she knew how close intimate her God is to her in her Gethsemane/his Gethsemane “my God my God why have you forsaken me?” do you hear the echo?..her to Christ & he to her..& both of them to you & I..”& there I am again ; the one on the outside looking in, the one with my nose pressed against the glass looking at some other family having a great time sitting round the fire”..”how long Lord am I to cry for help?”when trials threaten to overwhelm us, it is towards the faithfulness of God that we turn; our tearful prayer is really a cry of faith & of trust in God..which eventually, post Gethsemane & into age of wisdom, we can cry no longer in self pity but thankfully “why me?..“why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?”..when apparent faithlessness emerges in kairos time into faithfulness..the awesome power of faith..a faith we ask God to increase..”where nothing is impossible to God”..& what began as raw duty “let it be done to me according to your word” incarnates into intimate beloved servant discipleship..chronos to kairos.. ”faith is invalid unless you are living it” Habakkuk/Jesus/ you & me prophets “when they came to a crossroad between truth & untruth, when they had an opportunity to settle down, to quit the resistence to evil, to accept the status quo of what was, chose instead to keep on going..they & we..sirens in the night, sowers of far flung seeds, the eternal agitators in the soul of the people, of the nation, torches in the murk of confusion.” words of one of us, a Benedictine nun Sr Joan Chittister..listen “prophets today understand the cry of the destitute & unemployed, the elderly, the depressed gay teenager broken down by ages of church-defined defamation, victims of clerical abuse, the rejection of women as full human beings, as full disciples of Jesus, & of ordinary people who look for shepherds in their religious leaders & not ecclesiastical emperors. They are more given to faith in God than they are to fidelity to the system; they are more committed to new questions than they are to old answers; they are people of their times who prefer to stand, if necessary, alone with God.”..indeed our story..”& why has God dealt me this hand?”.. this extraordinary gift of faith..”why me?”.. [27thSunYrC Lk17;5-19]