A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Day in the sun

Sometimes righteousness is depressing.

It is especially depressing when we see other people who seem so happy while disregarding morality and even ridiculing people of faith.

This is not just a phenomenon of our modern age, where the tools of mass communication focus on the glamour of immoral celebrities and on the faults of the devout.

It was also thus in ancient times, as we hear the Lord say in today’s first reading (Malachi 3:13-20b):

You have said, “It is vain to serve God,
and what do we profit by keeping his command,
And going about in penitential dress
in awe of the LORD of hosts?

Rather must we call the proud blessed;
for indeed evildoers prosper,
and even tempt God with impunity.”

This sentiment is echoed in the Psalms:

Because I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they suffer no pain;
their bodies are healthy and sleek.

They are free of the burdens of life;
they are not afflicted like others.
Psalm 73:3-5

But we should not be fooled by the day in the sun enjoyed by the “beautiful people” of this world, for their “day” will be short.

You set them, indeed, on a slippery road;
you hurl them down to ruin.

How suddenly they are devastated;
undone by disasters forever!

They are like a dream after waking, Lord,
dismissed like shadows when you arise.
Psalm 73:18-20

Today’s first reading reminds us that while evildoers may have their day in the sun, it will indeed end (rather badly) and that those who lovingly fear and humbly serve the Lord by his grace will enjoy an eternal day of wondrous sunshine.

Then you will again see the distinction
between the just and the wicked;
Between the one who serves God,
and the one who does not serve him.

For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
And the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts.

But for you who fear my name, there will arise
the sun of justice with its healing rays.

Save us, O Lord.

Forgive us, heal us, and make us whole.