A reflection from T. from the Haifa kehilla.
On Saturday, May 21, Father David, Vicar of the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities in Israel, visited our Haifa kehilla. In his homily, he focused on the theme of two paths for human life. The first one is the path of anxiety (fears in our every day life, uncertainty regarding tomorrow, tension). The second one is the path of faith, free of helplessness, panic and depression. Father David's homily reminded me of Psalm 91, which in a very poetic and expressive way affirms the same idea.
"You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust." For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation."
He ,who takes the path of faith, trusting in God, in the first verses of the Psalm is likened to a tender nestling under the wing of the Almighty: "For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge" Then, the miraculous transfiguration takes place: through the comprehension and acceptance of the truth, "his faithfulness is a shield and buckler", weakness and helplessness are transformed into courage. Taking the path of faith is filled with strength and fortitude: "You will not fear". Now, the Lord does not directly protect his "nestling", does not keep it in safety, rather He gives faith and strength to resist difficulties and dangers, inevitable in our life. And then follows the impressive scene of great power :" A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you".
Also, victory over strange beasts is granted by the Lord to his faithful: " You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot". For me, all these beasts are symbols of human sins, passions, vices, that could and will be overcome on the path of faith. What is the difference between these two paths? Perhaps the path of faith is easier than the path of anxiety? Not at all! Life is always dramatic and full of difficulties. But the path of faith is victorious (because with the Lord we are invincible) and wonderful in its unexpected opportunities – for the Word of God is eternal and irrevocable: " When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble".
"I am with you always, until the end of the age" (Mattew 28:20) – promises us the Lord, who himself is the way, the truth and the life.
Help us, Lord, to follow You by the salvific path of Faith!