Delight in the Lord

Friday, June 9, 2017

Readings for Friday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

Saint Ephrem, Deacon and Doctor – Optional Memorial

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The great crowd heard this with delight.  Mark 12:37b

This passage comes from the end of today’s Gospel.  Jesus just gave a teaching to the crowd and they listened to it “with delight.”  Jesus’ teaching produced much pleasure in their souls.

This is a common reaction to the teaching and presence of Jesus in our lives.  The Psalms are filled with images like this.  “I delight in the Lord.”  “How sweet are Your words.”  “I delight in Your commands.”  These and many other references reveal one of the effects of Jesus’ words and presence in our lives.  His word and His presence in our lives is extraordinarily pleasurable.

This fact begs the question, “Do I delight in Jesus’ words?”  Too often we see the words of Christ as a burden, restriction or limitation to what we want in life.  For that reason, we can often see the will of God as something difficult and burdensome.  Truth be told, if our hearts are rooted in sin or in the pleasures of the world, then the words of our Lord may sting and feel like a burden to us.  But that’s just because we find them in contradiction to the many unhealthy things we become attached to. 

If you find that the Word of God, Jesus’ words, are hard to hear, then you are starting to head down the right road.  You are starting to let His Word “do battle,” so to speak, with the many other lures and enticements that ultimately only leave us dry and empty.  This is the first step to being able to delight in the Lord and His words.

The good news is that if you can allow His Word to cut through the many unhealthy attachments you have in life, you will begin to discover that you greatly love His Word and delight in His presence in your life.  You will begin to discover that the pleasure and delight you experience from His presence in your life far outweighs any other passing attachment or pleasure you may have. Even sin can produce a false sense of satisfaction.  In that case, the satisfaction is more like a drug that soon wears off.  The delight of the Lord is something that continually draws you higher and fulfills you more deeply every day.

Spend time, today, pondering whether or not you truly do allow yourself to be filled with delight in the Lord’s presence and His words.  Try to taste their sweetness.  Try to let yourself be drawn in.  Once “hooked,” you will seek Him all the more.

Lord, I desire to delight in You.  Help me to turn away from the many attractions and enticements of this world.  Help me to seek You and Your Word always.  In the discovery of Your Word, fill my soul with the greatest delight.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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