Tuesday of the Third Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings

I’ve never liked going to the dentist. All my life I’ve dreaded it, and all my life I’ve had terrible teeth. I inherited that from both sides of my family. During seminary, I had very lousy dental insurance and no money, so even though there was dental work to be done, it didn’t get done. All of that adds up to disaster eventually, and just before Christmas I broke a tooth. It didn’t hurt, and with Christmas being busy, I just ignored it and figured I would have it fixed after the holidays. Well, as soon as the holidays ended, I of course had a terrible toothache. And, as sometimes happens with us people of faith when things like this happen, I think I prayed something like “why can’t you give me better teeth?!”

Of course, that’s just silly, and yesterday I went for a root canal and things are on the mend. I actually liked the dentist that some folks here recommended to me, and this might be a real surge of dental health for me in my life – finally. This all reminded me of what the psalmist was praying today:

I have waited, waited for the Lord,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.

How often have we waited, waited for the Lord? You probably can think of at least a handful of times – maybe you’re even going through one right now – where you were desperate for the Lord’s help and yet he seemed so far away from you. But today’s psalm reminds us that that’s just not the way God is. God is aching to reach into our lives to help us if we will tune our hearts toward him and let him in. He will literally stoop toward us and hear our cry, putting a new song into our mouths. What we have to know is that for this to happen, we have to be ready to follow God’s will for us. We have to pray every day the response to the psalm today: “Here I am Lord; I come to do your will.”