The theme of this Sunday’s readings can be summarised in two words: Happiness and Trust.
Looking for happiness has always been at the core of people’s preoccupations. In the First Reading, Jeremiah tells his audience that they need to make a clear choice: they either trust only in people, or only in God. With striking images from nature, Jeremiah contrasts dry, wild wastelands with a luxurious tree growing by the waterside.
Using similar imagery, the Psalm makes the same point: trusting in the Lord will bring happiness. It starts with a ‘beatitude’ which is also at the core of the Gospel, this year read in Luke’s version. Luke’s Beatitudes are shorter than those in Matthew’s Gospel, and also include warnings for those who have made the wrong choices: ‘Alas for you …’
For Paul in the Second Reading, it is Christ’s resurrection which is the source of our hopes and happiness. If he had not risen, we would have remained the most unfortunate of all people.
So our prayer this week may well centre around the choices we have made, do make, and will make, as we try to find happiness – not just for ourselves, but also for those around us or for the world at large. We can perhaps also ask the Lord for greater trust in him.