Jeremiah in the first reading repeats the thoughts expressed in the Responsorial Psalm. That psalm, the first in the Book of Psalms, summarizes the wonderful ideas expressed in the hundred and forty-nine psalms that follow it.
If we have been seeking the company of sinners, and taking their counsel to guide our lives; then, little by little, we have become like barren bushes in a wasteland. There has been nothing in their company to give nourishment to our souls.
However, if we delight in God’s law, following his ways day and night, our lives have become like trees planted next to running water. Whatever we do prospers.
We might be put off by the psalm’s suggesting that we meditate on the law of the Lord. After all, meditating on the commands and restrictions of laws seems to be a dry pursuit.
I think though, that there is a ways to gain warmth from meditating on God’s laws. We do that by considering the valuable things in our lives that the laws are there to protect. Rather than thinking about the sin of stealing, we should think lovingly about our homes, along with the garments, tools and jewelry we have from our parents. Rather than thinking about avoiding adultery we should think of the love and trust built up over the years by spouses being true to each other. We should think about the worth of true friends who would never bear false witness against us.
Lives in which those great values are both treasured and nourished by God’s grace are like trees planted by living waters.