21 July 2017
We hear in the psalm that: “Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.” It’s an odd pairing, the words “precious” and “death.” But here’s where the cross is important to remember. God is not sadistic; he’s not mean or cruel. He simply takes delight in those who are true to him, who are faithful to him, no matter what comes their way.
For the Lord Jesus, his fidelity to the Father led him to the cross. The cross wasn’t necessarily precious to the Lord, but rather, his insurmountable love of the Father was precious.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, we see death in three ways. Of course, there’s the obvious physical death. But there’s also spiritual death (where someone rejects God entirely and refuses to live with faith, hope, and charity). And then there’s self-giving, other-centered, selfless love. That’s the third kind of death: putting my own desires at the service of God’s desires; letting God be number one in my life, being faithful to his good Will.
“Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones;” emphasis on the word “faithful.” Fidelity is precious to the Lord. And fidelity requires us to practice self-sacrificial love; that is, “death.” Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the . . . fidelity and selfless love . . . of his faithful ones.