Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A
Reflecting on Zeph. 2:3; 3:12-13
Some of us may remember the medieval chant, the Dies Irae (Day of Wrath). It used to be sung at funerals, portending terrible judgment on the Last Day. Thankfully, today we hear texts that stir our hearts with hope in the resurrection.
Dies Irae was inspired by the first chapter of Zephaniah, verses 14-18: Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath (vs. 18) . But in today’s reading of the SECOND chapter of Zephaniah we hear the good news. The Day of Wrath will be redeemed by the Day of Humility! The humble and lowly will become the Faithful Remnant of God.
Oh, how I want to be in that number. But how do we who have never been materially poor crowd in with, as Richard Rohr writes, the poor in spirit, whose “material poverty has broken their spirit”? My only answer is to hang out with people who serve those who are poor with abundant love.
Our parish is partnering with Lutheran Family Services to help resettle a large Afghan family. This has required a handful of talented, selfless people to put in hundreds of hours of hard work, navigating endless government forms, securing housing (humble as it is), finding schools with Dari speakers on site, navigating four car seats to drive the kids to doctor’s appointments, and so much more.
They have so many stories of what they are learning from this family. Christ, who will always side with the poor, begs us to place ourselves in proximity to “the weak of the world,” so that we too may learn from them. Theirs is the kingdom.
Have you ever been inspired by someone who is “humble and lowly”?