This life is unstable, insecure — it is existence under the constant threat of the wicked, the enemies lurking in the dark, and Death. But to the devout, the Lord is a refuge, a shield. He is also the inheritance of the faithful, the allotted portion no one — not even Death — can take away.
You will show me the path of life
abounding joy in your presence
the delights of your right hand forever (Psalm 16:11)
The verse is a climactic parallelism where “life” is in parallel with “abounding joy in Your Presence” and “delights at Your right hand”. The climax is in “forever”. This recalls verses 5-6 in the previous stanza, where “Lord, my alloted portion and cup” is in parallel with “my inheritance”, in a concentric parallellism:
Lord, you are my alloted portion and cup (a) you have made my destiny secure (b) Pleasant places were measured out for me (b1) fair to me indeed is my inheritance. (a1)
The Lord, my inheritance, is the only stable, fixed, secure good that is given to me. All the rest will pass by, and only the Lord and the good things He reserves for me will abide.
This life is insecure because it is subject to change. It is insecure not because it is subject to the flux of matter, a flux which within the classical Greek idea of history is eternally cyclical, but because in the creative design of God, all things must give way to the ever new thing that makes itself present. This ever new thing — the Omega — that breaks into the present of our history, is God Himself, the goal of my and everybody else’s history.
And this God offers Himself to me as my inheritance, my portion and cup. God’s offering of self to me occurs everyday — each time I celebrate the Mass. And whenever I partake of His flesh and blood, I am given a guarantee of my inheritance forever.
“You will show me the path to life …”. I should be happy with that. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life,” said the Lord. Nothing in this world can compete with that. I shouldn’t allow anything in this world to compete with that.
Lord, you alone are the Good that I long for. Give me the strength to hold onto You so that through the fortunes and misfortunes of this life, I may persevere in the life you have called me to.