Reflection on Ps 112:1

"Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments."

This psalm shows that blessed is the man who loves God’s commandments. The first of Christ’s Beatitudes reads: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” And the last one says: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mt 5:11-12)

Psalm 1, likewise, begins with the words, “Blessed is the man” and continues, “who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners; but delights in the law of the Lord and reflects on His law day and night” (see Ps 1:1f).

The Word of God says that the basis of the relationship to God is the fear of God. This fear begins to be born when we ask ourselves: Who am I and who is God? He created the whole universe, everything that is, and I am only a grain in this vast universe. What also helps us to have true fear of God is when we become aware of our sin before God. This fear disposes us to true repentance. We admit our sin before ourselves, stand in spirit by the cross, where we confess it and receive forgiveness from Jesus. This fear of God then grows into pure love of Jesus. And finally, perfect love casts out fear. The love of Jesus means that we are ready even to lay down our life for His sake and the Gospel’s (Mk 8:34). We have our life from Him and when we give it to Him, we thus lose our soul for His sake, and consequently by doing so we actually save both our life and our soul. However, we mostly do not have an opportunity to be Christ’s martyrs, though the present time will force some of us into heroic martyrdom, that means, into sacrificing our life for God’s truth and for justice like soldiers on the battlefield. It is often unnecessary in their case, while martyrdom is extremely useful and there are few who receive this martyr’s grace from God. There is also spiritual martyrdom, when one is willing to lose everything for the sake of Jesus and to fight against sin to the point of shedding blood (Heb 12). This love for God is made manifest when we strive to seek and do God’s will in a particular life situation, when we strive to keep God’s commandments. In this way we sanctify time, redeem it for eternity. We store up spiritual treasures in heaven which no one can take away from us. Therefore blessed is the man, but also the woman, the young boy or the young girl who fears God and delights greatly in keeping God’s commandments. They thus serve God and love Him. Jesus says, “Whoever keeps My commandments is the one who loves Me”, and He adds, “We will come to him and make Our home with him” (cf. Jn 14).

The Byzantine Catholic Patriarchate (BCP) is a community of monks, priests and bishops living in monasteries. The BCP is headed by Patriarch Elijah with two Secretary Bishops, +Timothy and +Methodius. The BCP arose from the need to defend the fundamental Christian truths against heresies and apostasy. It does not recognize pseudo Pope Bergoglio and is not subordinate to him.

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