Year C: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Habakkuk 1: 2-3, 2: 2-4
This reading bears a strong resemblance to some of the Psalms. The prophet is looking at the world and demanding to know know why God is not doing anything about it Why does God allow oppression and outrage and violence?
We are not always comfortable with such a direct approach to God - afraid, perhaps, of a thunderbolt hitting us because of our audacity.
Habbakuk - and other writers in the Hebrew Scriptures had no such worries. They knew that God was real - and knew that they could be “real” with God. They were sure enough of God to tell Him what they thought - to “tell it like it is”. They did not save conversations with God for times when they were joyous and thankful - or grit their teeth and pretend everything was alright. They assumed that God was interested in them whatever their mood - and probably sensed that pretending with God wouldn’t work anyway!
So - as with a trusted friend - a loving parent - Habbakuk - and others - were not afraid of speaking to God about the things that mattered to them. They knew He cared - even when the evidence was not very strong.
And it was because they were prepared to be “real” with God that they could begin to unravel their thoughts and fears and anger. Once these things were out in the open, they began to lose some of their power - and God could work with them and help people to see things in a new light.
“Yes”, says God, “there is oppression - violence - outrage - but is it doing the perpetrators any good? ‘See how he flags, he whose soul is not at rights’ And what about people like you who try to live in My ways - ‘the upright man will live by his faithfulness’ ”.
What does it mean for me?
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