Even amid love’s fulfillment, the Song of Solomon offers a grave warning: “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards” (2:15). Sometimes “the little foxes” erode our relationships, but often our vineyards of love are destroyed by a toxic blight. In today’s passage, Paul reveals the great conflicts within us that eclipse the first bright vision of our relationship with others and with God. Paul confesses that he often feels helpless to change the destructiveness: “I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.” Any of us who have ever felt trapped by fear, anger, despair, or addiction understand this anguish.

But there is a choice within this inner entrapment: We can choose to let our weakness drive us away from God because we feel so unworthy, or we can let that very weakness draw us much closer to God.

Too often, Christians turn away from partaking of the Eucharist, feeling that they will offend God’s holiness. Only when they are free of sin do they dare to come to God’s table. Did not Jesus tell those who came to the altar bringing a gift that they should first go and be reconciled to the neighbor? (See Matthew 5:23-24.) But when we bring a gift to God or the church, we are reminded that the real gift to God is love for one another. When we approach God in pain, need, or conflict, we are never turned away.

Sometimes the liturgical call to Communion is conditional. As pastor I used the traditional invitation: “You who are in love and charity with your neighbor and intend to lead a new life . . . draw near. . . .” Now I regret this. The less we are able to love, the less we feel able even to intend a new life; we should run, not walk to God’s table, God’s heart, which offers healing for us all.

Great Healer, at the very moment I feel weakest and unworthy, help me to give myself to you more fully. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

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Leccionario Semanal
June 29—July 5, 2020
Resumen de la Escritura

The reading in Genesis transitions our attention from Abraham to his son Isaac. When Isaac comes of age, Abraham sends a servant to find a wife for him. When the servant meets Rebekah, her kind hospitality convinces him that she is the one. Isaac marries her, and the readings in the psalm and Song of Solomon celebrate nuptial love as a symbol of God’s love. Paul in Romans reflects on the human condition. We desire to do what is right, but we fall short over and over again. What is the solution? God delivers us through Jesus Christ. In Matthew, Jesus emphasizes his intimate relationship with God and invites all who are weary to enter into Christ’s rest.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67. Which of these or other biblical stories model for you the relationship between God and humanity?
Read Song of Solomon 2:8-13. How have you seen God at work in the way loving relationships have transformed you?
Read Romans 7:15-25a. When have you refused to participate in Communion because you did not feel worthy? How might participating in Communion in times of strife or sin help you be reconciled to God and others?
Read Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30. The life of faith holds many ironies. How do you hold together the seeming opposites of Jesus’ and John’s focus in their ministries? of seeking to be yoked to God when your burden is too heavy?

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