The ailing young man wanted to be face to face with God. I opened my shoebox.
Season after Pentecost | 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
2 Samuel 7:1-14a; Psalm 89:20-37; (Jeremiah 23:1-6; Psalm 23;) Ephesians 2:11-22; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
It feels to me like evil is hovering over the prison in the form of a government ready to kill a woman who prayed with me when my father was dying of cancer. There isn't a thing I can do about it except pray this psalm and damn if we can't get it right.
In his years as a pastor my husband read the 23rd Psalm at the bedsides of quite a few people who were dying. It was the most frequently requested passage among those who were facing their own going and still able to choose. When I began to volunteer for hospice, I found, as he had, that even for people who had wandered far from church, even for the skeptical and the uncertain, even for those who were unused to prayer and didn't want to be prayed over, the 23rd Psalm provided a place of return that was beautiful, familiar, inviting, and reassuring.
Mark writes, “many were coming and going, and they had no leisure, even to eat.” I read this observation with uneasy laughter, thinking of many lunches spent at my computer with a sandwich.