Taste and See: The gift of life

ThMontparnassee Psalm at Mass yesterday, the 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time, offers a reflection on the virtue of life, God’s gift, our joy.

Fill us with your love so that we may rejoice.

Make us know the shortness of our life
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever?
Show pity to your servants.

Fill us with your love so that we may rejoice.

In the morning, fill us with your love;
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
Give us joy to balance our affliction
for the years when we knew misfortune.

Fill us with your love so that we may rejoice.

Show forth your work to your servants;
let your glory shine on their children.
Let the favour of the Lord be upon us:
give success to the work of our hands.

Fill us with your love so that we may rejoice.

Psalm 89:12-17

The psalm acknowledges that our life has its constraints and limitations: it is short; we have limited intelligence and awareness; affliction and misfortune are ours.

And yet, we have life. And life allows us intimations of wisdom, joy and a share in the glory of God and his friendship. The psalm situates all this in the temporal span of life here on earth. For the Christian though this life opens to eternal life: begun here, the good life finds its ultimate flourishing in heaven.

The psalm sets before us the project of life, a cooperative work shared between creature and Creator.

  • How today will we live life?
  • What one thing, reminded of the opportunities provided by life, will you try to do better today?

Sometimes the dead are more lively than the living. Memorial from the Cimetière du Montparnasse. Photograph (c) 2013, Allen Morris

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