Tuesday, December 7, 2010


It may strike some as fatalistic, but the text of this movement of Johannes Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem [A German Requiem] is actually that of the 1st reading for Mass this morning (Tuesday, 2nd Week of Advent)--"All flesh is grass..."

For Isaiah, the contrast is the temporal nature of our life as opposed to the eternal reality of God. How small we are! And yet, as Is 40:1-11 is yoked in the liturgy to Matt 18:10-14, we see that even grass-like (human) flesh is worthy of being loved, of being pursued, by our Maker/Savior/Sanctifier. Why would God bother? What benefit would there possibly be to the Divine Majesty by our redemption, or loss by our perdition?

Those questions are not answered; instead, we are assured that even at the risk of losing the rest of the 99, God wants to seek and save US, the 1 lost sheep. "Wants to" must, in the context, be translated as "loves us so much that He chooses to." This is our God...

So enjoy the excerpt below from Brahms' great work, and may the love of the Lord be with us!

1 comment:

  1. Could we perhaps add that God's great love for us was expanded to the permanence of great art and great music? Demonstrated by the creative works of DaVinci or Handel's Messiah or Johannes Brahms' 'Ein Deutsches Requiem'? These magnificent reminders of the grass with which they were born, although the grass itself withered and died.....