Today, the Church asks us to meditate on Psalm 1. This short psalm serves as the introduction to the whole book of Psalms and tells us how to be “blessed” or happy in our lives. The Psalmist focuses on two things: the way we live our lives and prayer. The blessed person “delights in the law of the Lord” and “meditates on God’s law day and night.”
The psalm contrasts how the blessed person lives with “the way of sinners,” “the counsel of the wicked,” and “the company of the insolent.” It is interesting that the life of the blessed person is presented as a one-on-one relationship with the Lord, but through the use of words like “counsel” and “company,” the psalmist suggests that sin is at least easier when it is done with a companion or a group. On the result side, the same comparisons hold true. The blessed person is like a tree, the wicked are like chaff. The one is “planted near running water,” the other is blown around by the wind.
But wait, is the psalm calling us to a solitary life like a hermit, or cloistered nun or monk? For most people, the Christian life is lived out in the “church,” the mystical body of Christ. That is why the psalm says that the blessed person will “yield fruit in due season” for the benefit of the church, and also that the tree’s leaves (that protect others) will never fade or fall off. If we follow the word of God and meditate on it, the Lord will look over us and enable us to be a blessing to those around us.
This is near the beginning of Lent, and this is Psalm 1. There are 149 other psalms, most of which are longer than this one, and this is the second day of Lent and there are six weeks left. Why not make it a lenten practice to read one or more psalms each day. Have a great Lent and a holy Easter.