Monday of the 10th Week of Ordinary Time
Today’s psalm is hard because it is simple. In the response we say that “our help is from the Lord.” It would be so much easier if we could trust something else in addition to God–perhaps God and our friends, God and our talents, or God and money. Ahab tries this–relying on his political power and the cunning of his wife Jezebel. But in the first reading, God reminds Ahab of where good things come from by withholding rain, while at the same time caring for Elijah. Jesus ups the ante in today’s gospel by giving us the Beatitudes–telling us that to be cared for, we should trust God in ways the world considers absurd. The Beatitudes, like the psalm, are so straightforward, so difficult.
Perhaps one reason why today’s readings are so difficult is that we haven’t recognized their truth in our lives. It is easy to say “God will take care of me,” but unless you realize that He has already done it, the statement can feel like an empty platitude. The second part of the response for today’s psalm can help us, reminding us that God “made heaven and earth.” Elijah tells Ahab that there will be no rain unless God wishes it, but that has always been the case. God made the world not like a watchmaker makes a watch, but like electricity makes light–constantly bringing it about in each moment. As we look around and see heaven and earth, we can remind ourselves that this is God at work, caring for us now. Seeing how totally God cares for us in each moment, we can see how our help is from God–and only from God–Whom we should trust above all.