The Responsorial Psalm today is Psalm number One in the Book of Psalms. It is a summary of the message of all hundred and fifty Psalms.
It says that if you fall in with the wrong people, picking up bad habits from them, your life will become like the chaff the wind wafts off. It can be a spooky sight. Let me explain.
In primitive countries the farmers beat and beat the ripe heads of the harvested wheat or rice to crack open the tough husks of the grain. Then, when the farmers fling the grain and husks high into the air the wind carries off the ultra-light husks, while the grain falls down to the threshing floor.
In Korea I have sat late into the night watching farmers winnowing their rice. They would set up torches around the threshing floor, and after they had flung the grain and husks high I would gaze at the yellow clouds of husks wafted off by the wind. There was something sickening about those clouds. The First Psalm compares them to hoards of sinners wafted off to perdition.
In the First Psalm the fate of the just is altogether different. They are like trees planted next to flowing streams of grace. They bear fruit the year round and their leaves never fade.
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