When I think of the number of times in my life that someone acted wickedly toward me – everything from cutting me off on the highway to undermining my work and apostolate and harming my family – I’m reminded of today’s Psalm. For as angry as I get at them, wishing to inflict my own justice upon them, I realize that God’s justice reaches farther than mine ever could. While I might wish for retaliation, and in my finer moments, their conversion, God promises to drive them away like chaff in the wind. The way of the wicked will be retaliated, it will be vanished. As the psalm says:
Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. For the LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.
I don’t need to worry about getting back at the people who’ve done wicked things to me; God will take care of that. Those who have wronged me both deserve and need my prayers, not my judgment. Often, those who do wicked things are victims of the wicked things others have done to them; they are merely proliferating what they’ve learned from someone else. Only God truly knows their hearts, and he will see to it that justice prevails.
Rather, I need to worry about not doing wicked things to others – either intentionally or inadvertently – through my own vindictiveness or negligence. My job is to know my own heart, and to place my hope in God, not people. He’s the one who ultimately set all things right.
The Responsorial Psalm tells us:
Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so the wicked, not so.