Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rend the Heavens

"Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!"
Isaiah 64:1

I've been a lector for the past four years and with a prayer to the Holy Spirit before I approach the ambo to proclaim His word, I usually do just fine. But every once in a while the power of a passage fills my heart and soul and gets stuck in my throat. My nerves are overcome and my voice quakes as if it were the first time I'd ever attempted to read His holy words. Today was such a day. I wanted to stop right at that powerful passage and cry out with Isaiah...

Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

A teenage boy leaves home with a pocket full of money
and wanders the streets all weekend
going from house to house looking for shelter
and a hot shower and a warm meal.
Where is the love of his mother?
Invited to participate in Mass, he asks,
"What is Mass?"

Rend the heavens!

A parish struggles under budgetary constraints
brought on by empty pews and empty hearts
and considers letting a priest go,
considers making do with less prayerful leadership,
less lifting up of God in worship,
in favor of more buildings.

Rend the heavens!

Young boys want to start a basketball team
and the priest rightly asks
"Why should I let you use my gym
when I never see you at Mass and
you aren't enrolled in Confirmation classes?"
We want the Church to serve us but
we fail to serve the Church.

Rend the heavens!

Babies are born to unwed teenage mothers
who barely know how to care for themselves
much less a new young life,
and mother and child cry together
for want of basic necessities and for love.

Rend the heavens!

These are dark days, O Lord.
Our hearts yearn for you
although we hardly allow
ourselves to know it
and we disguise our need behind
a false set of wants and a false sense of self.

Rend the heavens, O Lord, and come down!
Fill our hearts with a deep love for You.
End our misery, our poverty, our want,
and our spiritual starvation.
Show us that with You at our side
nothing else matters,
You are all we need.

O that you would rend the heavens and come down!
O that you would rend the heavens and come down!


  1. Some days I, too, to feel that these are dark days and my longing for inner peace and love are so great.

    All I can say is "wow" this reflection speaks volumes to my is the picture.

  2. Powerful words indeed. It is a strange dark time with much to reflect on. Thank you for your words they nourish me.
    Blessings and prayers,

  3. Anne,
    This is incredibly powerful! Wow! We live in a mixed up world, our priorities all askew and I pray these words with you. God bless you, my friend - you have a wonderful gift from God in your writing and I am blessed to be on the receiving end of it.