(Monday, October 16)

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.” (Ps 1:1-2)

What is it that truly makes us “happy,” or in biblical terms, “blessed”? Both the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament, quoted above, and the Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament (“Blessed are the poor in spirit…”) begin with addressing this question, – lest we think that God does not want us to be happy.

The very-first Psalm begins by telling us we will be “blessed,” if we neither seek to follow the counsel of, nor stand together on the same path with, nor gain a “seat” (a place of authority) among, the bad guys in our world. We do not find joy in being carried to and fro by the ever-changing trends in the “court” of human opinion, telling us what is important to focus on today, what is important to celebrate or be angry or “scornful” about today, in order to be “in,” in order to be or to look successful to the merely-human eyes of whatever microcosm we inhabit. Our focus and our “delight” is to be found elsewhere, in “the law of the Lord,” which is often counter-cultural and hence liberating, from the tyranny of the present.

God, let us let ourselves be blessed, and liberated, by the joy we are called to work on, through contemplating Your word and Your truth, as it informs and inspires our daily and nightly schedules. “Blessed are You, O Lord, teach me Your statutes!