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Sat, 5/30/20: "The whole world would not contain..."

Today's readings can be found: [HERE]

I listened to a song this morning, sung in English, that I suspect was originally written in a different language, as the grammar was a bit disjunctive and the choice of words somewhat peculiar when put to a musical rhythm.

But I found the song to be beautiful.

One could enjoy the lyrics, as there was a certain depth to them to those familiar with the context. But the music communicated a beauty that words alone failed to reach. Music forces one to rest in the moment. While content can be devoured according to one's speed in comprehension, the context of music guides one to receive the content of the lyrics, one beat at a time.

It's the difference between grasping the sight of a rose in a single moment, as opposed to spending countless moments breathing in its fragrance.

Today, we complete our reading from the Acts of the Apostles, which concludes with Saint Paul ministering in Rome for two years. The Book of Acts simply ends there, without great detail on those final two years of Paul's life: He remained for two full years in his lodgings. He received all who came to him, and with complete assurance and without hindrance he proclaimed the Kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

In our gospel passage, we complete our reading from the Gospel according to John, which concludes simply with: There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.

In both instances, with our readings from Acts and John, the content of what remains is left unmentioned. We're not told here at length what Paul did and said in his last two years. We're not told the "many other things that Jesus did." It's not that those things weren't important--they certainly were significant. But the context was over. The song had come to an end.

But the music was heard by those who lived those original experiences. Disciples witnessed great things and received profound words in the presence of Saint Paul and Jesus in their time.

In our time, we each are songs in our own communities, if I may say that. After the example of Jesus and his apostle Paul, we too are charged with communicating the content of our faith. But we are called to do so through our personal presence, through our relationship with the other person. That's the "musical" context in which our lyrics are best expressed.

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