The antiphon we repeat in response to the first reading at Mass sometimes suggests a key to understanding of the readings of the day, and can give a useful mantra for prayer.
Today we pray “I will praise you Lord, for you have rescued me..”
Notice that the “rescued” is past tense – it has already happened and now we are more (or less) open to receiving the rescue and living the grace of this gift.
Our love and praise of God comes from the knowledge that we have been rescued, and it is this knowledge that changes everything.
This appreciation that Jesus has saved is not the addition of a programme to our already full hard-drives, or a reboot, but the offer of life with a new and reliable default setting.
And in this confident conviction we realise that we are happier. We are more free because we are living more intentionally and more abundantly.
In this new-life praise of God is not something we try hard to do because we should, but a vital desire that wells up within us and spills over in every word and action, much like the over-the-top enthusiasm of one who has fallen in love.
Living in this new way is evidence that we have experienced salvation.
Because you are rescuing me Lord, I am praising you.
The little prayer often attributed to Pedro Arrupe SJ reflects:
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.