Jeremiah 17: 5-8
1 Corinthians 15: 12, 16-20
Luke 6: 17, 20-26
Where does our intimate desire lead us?
The readings of today talk about happiness and unhappiness, of blessings and maledictions. Is it a question of correct comportment? Of the plan of God conditioned by human action? No, these are revelation texts that tell us about the gift of God. They open up a field for our liberty and ask us to choose. But they are in no way nave.
Jeremiah shows us how hard it is to place ones entire trust in the Lord rather than in our own calculations. And the psalm affirms that being in the company of evil people is running the risk of getting ever more deeply entwined in the dynamics of evil. Lastly, the Beatitudes reveal the conflictual situations in which Jesus disciples will find themselves. In other words, these texts speak to us of the spiritual combat -- combat in our hearts between the evil spirit and the good spirit, between doubt and trust.
Are we embarked in a struggle to the death which we risk coming out of on the losing side? Are we called to respond to the divine imperatives by opposing evil head on? The texts open entirely different ways to us. They declare that the happy person finds his joy in the Law of the Lord. The desire that attracts humans to what is pleasurable is the interior life of the person. The Law is where we learn to know the revelation of God and to adopt Gods ways of being and acting.
The Law is given by God to teach us how to live. Contact with the Word, then, is what helps us to live. The psalm, like the Book of Jeremiah, gives us a metaphor in the tree which evokes solidity, fruitfulness, the perennial. In a certain way, all that the tree depends on is invisible: its roots, the water that soaks the roots. Its the same for human beings: what we are to become is possible thanks to what is unseen, the heart. A human can live, be just, give fruit if the roots of the heart are sunk deep in the water of the Word of God. Where a persons heart is, there is his treasure. Where does our interior desire lead us, what moves us to action?
As for the Beatitudes, they proclaim all that is already given us in Jesus Christ. The Kingdom is realized in Him, but has not yet reached its fulfillment in us. The Plan of God is realized gradually in human history and in each history. Happiness is only discovered in the present in the measure that we accept to be happy with the happiness given by Another. Do we consent to trust God? Do we consent to the gentle patience we need to have with ourselves during this time when what God is accomplishing in us is slowly maturing?
-- Sr. Sophie Ramond, R.A.