Psalm for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)

Psalm 1: 1-4, 6

This week’s responsorial psalm is from Psalm 1, which serves as a preface to the whole Book of Psalms. It contrasts with striking similes the destiny of the good and the wicked.

This psalm views life as activity, as choosing either the good or the bad. Each “way” brings its inevitable consequences. The wise through their good actions will experience rootedness and life, and the wicked, rootlessness and death.

Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked, nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, but delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night.

What identifies a just or righteous person is their behavior, which is very different from the behavior of those who have no regard for the Law of God. The righteous seek and find in the Law of God the standard to orient their lives.

He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers.

The righteous are happy because they thrive. The leafy tree symbolizes prosperity and well-being.

Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

Contrast the well-rooted tree with the chaff scattered by the wind, which symbolizes the sinful life of the wicked.

For the LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.

In the final analysis, it is the Lord who will judge all.

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