Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
September 22, 2020
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with another of the Torah Psalms, Psalm 119. It is the prayer of one who delights in and lives by the Torah, the sacred law. ( See yesterday’s reflection for some scholarly words on the Torah Psalms.)
In today’s verses, with lovely antiphonal lilt, the psalmist describes the holy person, then asks for the virtues to become one.
- Blessed are the blameless….. so guide me in your ways.
- I want to meditate on your deeds …. so make me understand.
- I want to observe your laws … so give me discernment
- I delight in your path …. so lead me on it.
- I will keep your law forever …. if you will just guide me.
I don’t think God can resist a sincere prayer like this. The psalmist is saying, “I want to love you, God, with my whole life. But you, Almighty, must help my weakness.”
As we pray today with Psalm 119, we might let a similar prayer rise up in our hearts.
We, too, want to love God well – completely. We, too, need Divine guidance to discern God’s continuing call in the complexities of our lives. We, too, long to deepen in discernment and commitment.
The psalmist gives us good example. Just tell God like it is. Tell God what you really want, what you really need to love as God wishes us to love.
If you hear yourself making requests for power, money, fame, security in any of their selfish forms, you better start all over again!😉
Remember the beginning of the psalm, the foundation of our prayer:
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
In the Christian scriptures, that foundation is proclaimed like this:
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Let’s ask God for the courage to offer a blameless prayer. The simple prayer of the Gospel centurion comes to mind:
Poetry: Morning Hymn by Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley. They are considered founders of the Methodist religion.
Christ, whose glory fills the skies, Christ, the true, the only light, Sun of Righteousness, arise, Triumph o’er the shades of night: Day-spring from on high, be near: Day-star, in my heart appear. Dark and cheerless is the morn Unaccompanied by thee, Joyless is the day’s return, Till thy mercy’s beams I see; Till thy inward light impart, Glad my eyes, and warm my heart. Visit then this soul of mine, Pierce the gloom of sin, and grief, Fill me, Radiancy Divine, Scatter all my unbelief, More and more thyself display, Shining to the perfect day.
Music: Help My Unbelief – Audrey Assad