I was captivated this morning by a verse from the Psalm (19) which is one of my favorites because it speaks in the first half of the majesty of the universe. I rarely get past the part that begins, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God…” and sings of the grandeur through verse seven. I suppose (and will investigate later) that the second half of the psalm could be continuing the theme by looking at the stable patterns in the workings of the universe when it speaks of the laws and decrees of the Lord. Nevertheless, before I realized that it was psalm 19 I was reading (from verse 8 to 15) I was taken by the notion that The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eye. I began to muse on a common response to the word “law” which often, it seems today, is effort toward “getting around” it or at least resisting internally what the law calls us to if we haven’t been part of creating it. Now some of this is more appropriate to a discussion on the everyday “rules” that govern our lives. On the whole though, I’m not sure most of us rejoice in coming up against a law that we need to follow if it entails work or discomfort for us.
When I read the gospel from Matthew 25 about the sheep and the goats it all began to coalesce. Living with the love of God at the center of our hearts we are enabled to see clearly and respond to the needs of those who cross our path. The impulse to reach out to those we see becomes automatic, such that if we were questioned about our acts of charity and justice, we would hardly think of them as such. Rather it would spring from our desire for God and God’s reign to be realized in the world. No hesitation – just doing from our being.
Today I will work (again) toward willingness, asking myself whose hunger I can satisfy today, what thirst I will notice in another, how I might welcome a stranger or companion someone who is ill. Might I even find a key to unlock the prison in which someone sits? Only if my heart is alert and my eye enlightened. May it be so.