Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the Lord, "My Lord are you.
O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot."
I bless the Lord who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the Lord ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
You will show me the path of life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever
+Let us Pray: Come Holy Spirit, enkindle the hearts of the faithful. Amen.
All the readings for the Mass this Sunday are finely 'woven' together. There is a 'thread' perhaps we could say, that connects them, and that thread is 'Freedom'. Freedom is an essential quality of genuine Love. In the first reading from Kings we hear Elijah ask Elisha; "Have I done anything to you?", those powerful words leave us reflecting, how "God's love 'initiates' the beginning of the relationship and the loving response of the one 'wounded' by this mighty Love, leaves the one 'panting' so to speak, longing to respond completely, generously, and immediately - the will is moved powerfully. Then in the second reading from Galatians, we are reminded by St. Paul, that those who live by the Spirit, live by a different set of rules and laws: "If you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law."
Love evokes a response that governs the heart in a completely different way, in freedom. St. Paul is reminding us, that the response to the law of Love is a response, unconstrained by set standards, one lives freely, under an entirely different 'law' and that law does not oppress, but opens it to 'ease and fullness of life.' As we pray through the Gospel of Luke, we are drawn into the free and radical following of Christ, that is willful and focused, driven by Love: "He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem." Lastly, as we read the Psalm response for today, (Psalm 16) we are drawn into the very manner of living out this free and radical call and response. It is the Psalm today that we will focus our Lectio on~ "You will show me the path of life"
Have you ever gone on a hike with someone, who is quite experienced in hiking and who knows the trails? It's a comforting feeling isn't it? You can enjoy the walk, look around and enjoy the view~ It can also be challenging, because their skill and experience often lead you in a direction which appears at first, to be too difficult, to actually be enjoyable. However, as long as you trust them and keep your eye on them, and do what they say, you can enjoy the way and the difficulties become occasions for confidence building and those 'triumphs' of conquering fears, makes the journey more exciting. Their presence gives you the assurance and confidence you need to keep going forward. A week or two ago, on our Young Adult Expedition, we took a long hike, I think around 7 miles. I had my eye on Father who was leading us, and for a good portion of the hike I was close behind him, within 'earshot.' At one point, I got stones and twigs in my sandals so I stopped along the path, to take off my sandals and shake out the stones, and I took a moment just to appreciate the beauty around me. When I got up and looked around, I could still see Father way ahead in the lead, with Friar (border collie) near him, and because I could see him, I felt 'at ease' again, I knew I was still "on the right path", and that gave me 'ease again' (there was a fork in the path ahead) I was getting tired but I was good, I continued hiking, because I was sure he knew how to get to the destination (aka the bus). I had confidence in him, and that confidence gave me the ability to freely follow, allowing him to take us in the direction he saw as best. He knew I was in the group of hikers, and he knew my limits.
"You will show me the path of life": ~ to allow the Lord to show us the "path of life", allows us to enjoy the journey 'as it comes' and to relax more in the midst of the obstacles that present themselves along the way. To allow oneself to be "shown" the path, implies, you have the freedom to say yes or no and it implies there will be help; I have the freedom to go on the path or not. Freedom is a beautiful property of Love. And this is how God wants us to respond, because we choose, because we love. There is no force, we are called to follow in freedom and love. What is Jesus showing you right now? what is the path He is inviting you to follow? What does it consist of? Maybe it is breaking off a relationship that is not healthy, not of God, maybe it consists of accepting a job loss at the present, or a cross of a family member that you cannot alleviate. Whatever it is, share it with Jesus, share what you are feeling, the fears, shame, frustration, anguish, confusion ...Be with Him.
+Prayer: Hail Mary....