Day 186: Struggles with Self-Interest

2 Chronicles 31:1-21 Hezekiah clarified the roles of the priests and Levites and established the Temple as the true locus of all worship for the people of Israel. The Levites were given the responsibility to teach the Law to the people, and they were to be supported by the Temple contributions. The people were generous in supporting both the Temple and the Levite priests.

Psalm 144 This psalm revisits a question frequently included in other psalms: Given our inclination to sin and infidelity, why does God keep inviting us back to repentance? According to Origen, God endowed every individual with the capacity to seek God and have a personal relationship with him; however, because of the Fall of our first parents, sin entered the world, damaging the human person’s ability to find God, let alone have a loving relationship with him. God remedies this solution through the Incarnation and Redemption of the Son of God. “Thus, knowledge of God became reality, it became friendship and communion,” said Pope Benedict XVI, “Let us thank the Lord, because he ‘lowered the heavens and came down,’ he took our flesh upon his shoulders and carries us on our journey through life” (Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, January 11, 2006).

The second half of this psalm speaks of a new song played on a ten-stringed harp, which St. Augustine interpreted as the Law summarized in the Ten Commandments. These Commandments serve as the foundation for the fullness of Christ’s New Law of Love. With charity as a guiding light, we bring peace and joy to the world. (Cf. Pope Benedict XVI, General Audiences, January 11 and 25, 2006; St. John Paul II, General Audience, May 21, 2003). (CCC 1710-1715, 1718)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we thank you and give you praise. Happy the people whose God is the Lord. You are our God and we are blessed because you are good. We thank you for your goodness, Lord God, today. Whether we are praying these words, hearing these words early in the morning, in the middle of our day, at the end of our day, whatever time we are, we are blessed just to know you, God. We are blessed just to have you in our lives, to not go through this life not knowing who you are, not knowing who we are, not knowing where we come from or who we come from, not knowing who we are made for. We are made for you, Lord God. We give you praise and thank you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”