Just a minute or two to reflect. I woke this morning in Malta, in the Ballutta Bay region, with every intention of making it to early morning Mass at the Parish Church Our Lady Of Mount Carmel across the street. Their electronic bells have been ringing since 8 AM, drowning out the roosters that brought in the day, earlier. Though awakened, I didn’t rise in time to get to services, so instead, I’ve been enjoying the view from my room of locals swimming in the bay and running the perimeter, tour buses making the bend, boats coming into the harbor, others pulling up anchor and moving out – lots of activity and life. But, nothing more than bus stops at the Carmelite parish. No crowds of any signifigance going into or coming out of the neo-gothic style church – a popular stop for tourists as a background to Instagram “Look at where I am” posts and not much else.
Why so few going into the church on a Sunday morning? Truly no activity, clerical, local parishioner or visitor. The doors aren’t even open, though the bells toll hourly. For what purpose? This is Sunday for heaven’s sake? My heart hurts for the Lord. What must He think as He looks down on this little corner of His world, on this beautiful Ballutta Bay of the island, Malta, where He sent Paul to do the work he had given Paul to do?
Today’s collect serves as the prompt for this pause.
Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
God’s grace preceded and followed St. Paul to Malta. It precedes, me as well. May I find a way on this short trip – and on this Sunday, the Lord’s Day – to make God’s kingdom come known and offer Him praise and thanksgiving.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Lectionary: Year C Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost