Standing with the Saints

“Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord? or who may stand in his holy place? One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.” (Ps. 24:3)

In today’s reading of the Psalms, the Psalmist asks some very pointed questions. “Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord?” “Who may stand in His holy place?” According to St. David’s own answer, not a single human being could ever ascend Yahweh’s mountain, or stand near His altar. This is because, as David said, only those “whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.” Do you know any human being who is sinless? Who has a clean heart – someone who has never had an unwholesome thought or someone who never looked down upon another person? If we think that we ourselves fit that description, then we are only fooling ourselves. Our Lord knows our hearts and our minds.

In composing this Psalm, David is not so much calling attention to our imperfect human ways, but rather bringing our thoughts to God’s majesty and rulership over the earth. The first two verses of this Psalm declares that the earth and everything in it belongs to the Lord, even the waters thereof. This Psalm is about our Creator’s majestic rulership throughout the universe. But at the same time, David brings our attention to the future when there will be a generation of people who will in fact be able to ascend the Lord’s mountain and stand near His throne. “He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God his saviour. Such is the race that seeks him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.” (vss. 5-6) These are the people who are redeemed by Christ’s blood at His Crucifixion. (Eph. 1:7; 2:13) They are those who submit themselves to Christ on a daily basis, and who take up their cross, as He instructed, enduring trials and various tribulations. It is a generation of people who see those same trials as joys (St. James 1:2-4). It is those people, who like the saints before them, who share the gospel by mouth and by their living example to the world, even though it may bring ridicule and persecution. (St. Matt. 10:22)

May each of us humble ourselves, live virtuous lives as the saints of the past, and pray each day that we may be blessed by the Lord to reside with Him on His holy mountain.

God bless you +
Fr. Charles
Feast of All Saints

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