16th Sunday in Ordinary TimeGn 18:1-10a
Ps 15 2-5
Dick Clifford notes in his commentary on the responsorial psalm that Psalm 15 verses 2 to 5 contains ten descriptors of the ideal worshipper. One could say that these verses contain ten descriptors of the ideal behavior for all persons. This very short psalm--we are only missing the first verse--is a description of authentically religious individuals whose actions reflect their belief. It describes those who fulfill the admonition attributed to Francis of Assisi, "Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words only when necessary." The psalm ends with the promise, "One who does these things shall never be disturbed" or, in another translation, "will never be shaken." There is no good reason to argue with that conclusion.
The challenges put forth by this psalm are daunting. How many of us consistently do justice? How many of us enthusiastically slander others under the guise of gossip or idle chatter? I suspect most of us breathe easily at the proscription against lending money at usury, though some of the quid pro quo situations we create with others are usurious in their own ways. The psalm describes positive and negative attributes of acting virtuously. It may surprise some who argue that there are no moral absolutes or necessary virtues that the characteristics of the virtuous individual are not unique to Judaeo-Christianity.
Jesus elaborated on this list from Psalm 15 in numerous places in the New Testament when he described the virtuous action. Consider for example his demand to the rich young man to sell all he owned and then to follow him. Virtuous to be sure. But not easy.
The heat and humidity have finally broken. Alas, there was no rain. The grass is getting a tad beige. Last Sunday was an almost perfect day. It rained at some point Saturday night. All of the flowers in the planter were bedecked with rain drops. I spent about 45 minutes wandering around with my camera both in the house and around the planter. The results are below.
"Up on the roof." The elevator is done. We are awaiting the state inspection before it can be put into use. The old parts were still on the roof last week.
Down in the lounge the chessboard was sitting beneath a window. Definitely a b&w photo rather than color. I call it The Bishop and His Deacon.
The flowers were particularly lovely. In the past week the searing heat has done a real job on them.
I learned a new technique on Aperture 3. Here is the first attempt.
Two bees were busy gathering pollen.
And now we have the reason for photography. A blue dragonfly was teasing me. The first shows it on the concrete near a flower petal. This one has to be cropped as I took it while standing. The other shows the same dragonfly a few minutes later perched on a daisy. No cropping, no manipulation at all. This is how it came out of the camera. I think I am inordinately pleased with myself for these two (he said as he rubbed his nails on his lapel.)
+Fr. Jack, SJ, MD