Guard me as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
As we move towards the end of the liturgical year, the readings invite us to think about endings: not in a fearful way, but with an invitation to hope and trust in the God of resurrection and life.
The First Reading tells of a valiant mother who, strong in her hope of the resurrection, encourages her faith-filled sons to suffer martyrdom rather than prove unfaithful to God.
Jesus, answering the sly question posed by the Saducees (Gospel), demonstrates that they have not even begun to understand the transformation of life that will take place after the resurrection. Heaven is about union with the God who is Lord of life and the living.
Paul prays that our Lord and Father may strengthen the young Christian community of Thessalonica with the grace of strength, comfort and hope (Second Reading). He also warns them to be alert to ‘the interference of bigoted and evil people’, who would prevent the Lord’s message of love spreading quickly throughout the world.
The Psalm is a prayer of trust in God and appeals for deliverance from enemies who have wrongfully accused the psalmist. The images used to describe God are both intimate and striking.
This week, we pray for all innocent people in our own times who suffer imprisonment, torture and death.
We also pray that Christ Jesus’s message of love and compassion for the whole of life may spread quickly throughout the world.