Saturday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
November 7, 2020
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray again with Psalm 112, placed between two interestingly complementary readings.
Psalm 112 is basically a guide to what constitutes a happy life. The psalm tells us this:
Blessed and happy is the one:
- who fears the LORD,
- who greatly delights in God’s commands.
- who is gracious and lends
- who conducts affairs with justice
- who gives to the poor
The psalmist tells us that this kind of humble, grateful generosity is its own reward.
Such a person
- shall have a posterity which is mighty upon the earth
- shall never be moved;
- shall be in everlasting remembrance
- shall be steadfast; shall not fear.
- shall be remembered for enduring generosity
- shall have a “horn” exalted in glory. ( “horn” = strength and power)
If we translate the biblical language here, what is Psalm 112 telling us.
This. True happiness comes from:
- loving God
- living within the law of love
- being just, merciful, and generous
- taking care of the vulnerable
Such happiness looks like this:
- others can look up to you, especially the young
- you stay faithful to goodness and righteousness
- your faithfulness nourishes those who come after you
- you are strong and courageous
- your generosity inspires generosity in others
- you are respected and loved for your goodness, even long after you’re gone
These are the kind of people Paul is depending on in our first reading to keep his ministry afloat. It sounds like he didn’t find too many of them, except finally in his Philippian community! Actually, under his eloquence, I think Paul sounds a little ticked off!😉
Jesus was looking for this kind of people too, but he certainly didn’t find them in the Pharisees of today’s Gospel. And Jesus let’s them have it in a dose of their own medicine.
What does Jesus, who “knows our hearts”, find when he looks at us? Let’s pray Psalm 112 today asking for the grace to grow in true, generous, faith so we can look back at Jesus with deep peace and HAPPINESS!
Poem: The Work of Happiness by May Sarton
I thought of happiness, how it is woven
Out of the silence in the empty house each day
And how it is not sudden and it is not given
But is creation itself like the growth of a tree.
No one has seen it happen, but inside the bark
Another circle is growing in the expanding ring.
No one has heard the root go deeper in the dark,
But the tree is lifted by this inward work
And its plumes shine, and its leaves are glittering.
So happiness is woven out of the peace of hours
And strikes its roots deep in the house alone:
The old chest in the corner, cool waxed floors,
White curtains softly and continually blown
As the free air moves quietly about the room;
A shelf of books, a table, and the white-washed wall—
These are the dear familiar gods of home,
And here the work of faith can best be done,
The growing tree is green and musical.
For what is happiness but growth in peace,
The timeless sense of time when furniture
Has stood a life’s span in a single place,
And as the air moves, so the old dreams stir
The shining leaves of present happiness?
No one has heard thought or listened to a mind,
But where people have lived in inwardness
The air is charged with blessing and does bless;
Windows look out on mountains and the walls are kind.
Music: Psalm 112 – 4Him
We only get so many times To ride around this sun And so many times to see a full moon shine When day is done if anything's worth doing Then it's worth doing right So I looked for wisdom on how to Best live this brief life I have found Blessed is he who fears the Lord Who finds delight in His commands Blessed is he who fears the Lord Who finds delight in His commands I guess that we all gamble on some Truth to guide our days And we trust that it will bring us joy and meaning On the way I've got friends who feel betrayed by all the things They once believed So with everything I've seen I've gotta say It seems to me Blessed is he who fears the Lord Who finds delight in His commands Blessed is he who fears the Lord Who finds delight in His commands Please hear this from a humble heart But I feel like Exhibit A In the evidence that God is good to those Who live by faith, that's why I believe Blessed is he who fears the Lord Who finds delight in His commands Blessed is he who fears the Lord Who finds delight in His commands He will not be shaken He will have no fear He will then remember