I woke up feeling moody and grouchy this morning, both tired and discouraged immediately upon arising before I even began my day. I didn't have the energy to fight off the ugliness and I was quickly caving into gloom.
I lector at daily Mass three days each week and today was one of them. As I approach the ambo I usually whisper a prayer to the Holy Spirit asking Him to speak through me and allow everyone present in church to be moved by the words of scripture as I proclaim them. But today I only muttered a half-hearted prayer to Jesus as I bowed to His presence in the tabernacle asking, "Please, help me get through this."
The readings were so beautiful on this Feast of St. Martha and despite my lack of fervor in prayer, I quickly felt the love of the Lord through the words I was reading. Who couldn't feel His love when reading 1 John 4:7-16, this beautiful passage about the love of God? But although I could sense His love, I was still distracted by my emotions and I lost my place which resulted in me reading verse eight twice: "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." My mistake brought about the heat of an embarrassed blush quickly rising in my face.
By the time I came to the psalm, however, my embarrassment proved to be unfounded, for there I was reading my favorite scripture passage from Psalm 34: "Look to Him, that you may be radiant with joy and your faces may not blush with shame."
God's timing is amazing, is it not? Despite my negativity and my half-hearted attempt to proclaim His word, He would not allow me to forget His great love for me and maybe it was His doing after all, that caused me to repeat verse eight today. I think He had a message in that passage that He wanted to drive home to me; He wanted me to know that in my contrariness I was failing to love, failing to look to Him and know Him.
Through His amazing providence and His perfect love, all shame and embarrassment is cast out, all moodiness, fear and hate are gone. I will always look to Him and know that
God is love!