One thing I asked of the LORD; that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
~ Ps 27.4
A friend asked me to help her choose a psalm for the funeral Mass of her mother, a former English teacher of mine. Petite, bright-eyed and intellectually indomitable, Mrs. T. was a deeply devoted Catholic and a daily communicant at Mass. Without a moment’s hesitation, I suggested Psalm 27, largely because of its beautiful depiction of the one who seeks God. Today’s verse, in particular, conjures a vision of calm serenity, as we see in our mind’s eye the solitary psalmist gazing on the loveliness of the LORD amid the life-giving quiet of the temple.
For Mrs. T., daily Mass was just such a sanctuary of time and space. We all need sanctuaries in the midst of our busy schedules, places where we can catch our breaths and reflect on our greater purposes. Whether it is daily religious worship, private prayer time or a five-minute God-centered meditation, those moments in which we step out of the rushing current of daily life and sit by the side of the river allow us to carve out space in our souls and deepen our awareness of God.
The author Judith Shulevitz writes eloquently of the Sabbath as a day that is “fenced off” from ordinary time. In our world, where the urgent usually crowds out the important, we must find a way to cordon off time, to make space, and to honor our Sabbath so that we may strengthen our spirits to do the will of God.
Majestic God, Creator of all that is, LORD of the Sabbath, Grant that I may whole-heartedly seek the joy of dwelling in your presence, now and forever. Amen.
For today’s readings, click here.
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