“In the Year of drought, it shows no distress” – homily for Feb 12th and 13th, 2022
We have in our first reading today: “Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, He is like a tree planted beside the waters…in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit.” And we have a very similar passage in our Psalm today: “Blessed is he who delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night. He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade.”
We are living in absolutely unprecedented times…in a lot of ways spiritually and physically not just a 1-year drought but the metaphorical drought is wrapping up its second year.
We are exhausted, our patience with each other has worn thin or broken, some of us are battling suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety…the whole range of things that are being reported throughout this pandemic…Psalm 32 describes it this way: “Indeed my strength was dried up, as by the summer’s heat”
That is a great description of most of us: “Dried up as by the summer’s heat”… But psalm 32 goes on “But now I have acknowledged my sins; my guilt I did not hide. I said “I will confess my offense to the Lord.” And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin.”
In the Old Testament, there was a year of Jubilee every 50 years, which was essentially a great big reset button. Our culture needs just such a jubilee year, and I think it starts with each of us individually acknowledging our sins in confession and starting over fresh. We cannot impact the culture around us if we have nothing to give.
Confession is the last place the Devil wants you to go, because he knows as long as you feel buried under your sins, you will despair. But if you have not been to confession in a while, I promise that you will feel immediately better, and you will literally feel that a physical weight has been lifted off of you.
If you find your strength “dried up as by the summer’s heat” I invite you to confess your sins, and then, as we hear in our first reading, be “like a tree planted beside the waters…in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit.”