Saturday, March 21

Read: Psalm 73

"When my soul was embittered,when I was pricked in heart, I was stupid and ignorant; I was like a brute beast toward you. Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel,and afterward you will receive me with honor." - Psalm 73:21-24

Reflection: When we see how the wealthy and powerful abuse others and still prosper, enjoying health and wealth and glamorous living, we may start wondering about God. We have tried to live justly, with regard for God and others, but there seems to be no reward for righteous living. Everything we previously believed about God was solid ground for life, but now it seems that our feet are slipping, and we are in danger of falling into despair and hopelessness. We try to reason it all out, but only get a headache instead of answers.

Psalm 73 describes the experience of a faithful person struggling with these issues. The turning point came when the Psalmist “entered the sanctuary of God.” (Psalms 73:17) There God encountered him and gave him a glimpse of how things will ultimately be. It was as if he had a private showing of God’s great film, “The Story of Planet Earth.” God showed him some scenes from the end of the film. He saw that it was the wicked whose feet will slip in the end, and they will be swept away. Then he saw the little portion of the film that was his life. He saw that God was always with him, holding him by the hand. He saw God guiding him through this life, and taking him beyond this life into his eternal destiny in God’s glory.

What changed for the Psalmist? He didn’t exactly receive an answer from God, but the view of things from God’s perspective changed his view of life. Knowing that God’s justice and right order will ultimately prevail, he could be satisfied for the duration of his earthly life with the assurance of God’s presence. As he tasted of that presence, he experienced a satisfaction unlike any other. When he saw the glory that awaited him beyond this life, he was overwhelmed with God’s goodness. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” (Psalm 73:25)

God invites us—he calls us—to learn to bring our hearts to him. He wants us to bring our hearts to him as we find them—broken, wounded, sinful, angry, hard. He wants us to also bring our faith.

Prayer: Dear God, grant us the grace to experience the fullness of your presence, especially in our darkest hours of doubt and despair.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead