Year B: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Second Reading: Ephesians 5: 15-20
Simplicity of faith is not to be seen as an excuse for not thinking and reflecting on matters of faith - and, more especially, on how we are to live our lives.
St Paul’s statement that “this may be a wicked age” could equally well apply to our own age. If we look at the world, we can see evidence of wickedness - or senselessness - or failure to think about issues in any depth.
It is easy to become depressed - believing that we cannot make a difference. This is when we need also to remember how St Paul saw the role of Christians in society: as people whose lives can redeem the world.
The way he suggests is to focus our lives on God - to use the prayers of the Church in our shared worship and also to “go on singing and chanting to the Lord in (our) hearts”.
Many people are less familiar with the Psalms but within them are found psalms expressing joy - sorrow - pain - confidence: to coin a phrase, “all of human life is there”.
Some people find it helpful to use the repetitive chants of Taizé - the tunes and the words blend together and are easily memorised and easy to hum or sing to oneself while going about daily chores. Others like to sing hymns to themselves - again, the music helping to bring phrases to mind in a way that words alone cannot always manage alone.
Some people substitute listening to music for singing it - and there are occasions when this is helpful in prayer. However, it is a substitute as what St Paul is recommending is making the words and music part of the very depths of our being. In this way, we can bring prayer into everything we do. Into the midst of the materialism - selfishness - loss and pain, we can bring God. Not only does this go some way to redeem the evil we may encounter - but it also means that anything we say or do comes from that deep centre which is in touch with the divine - again bringing good where evil could have held sway.
What does it mean for me?
© 2006 Wellspring