Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday's Message: Psalm 96

Welcome back to another edition of Sunday's Message.  When I did this series last year, I showed all the readings for that particular Sunday.  However, this year I have decided to focus on just one reading each week.  I would like to pick out the one that really strikes me, particularly in light of The Message: Catholic/Ecumenical Edition translation, which often arouses some spirited debate on this blog.  (I hope it continues to do so!)   On my part, along with providing a particular reading each week, I plan to offer some personal reflections, as well as the occasional question or two for you to ponder. 

I decided to look at the responsorial Psalm for today's Mass, which often does not get commented on during the homily.  As I was thinking about this psalm during the week, a couple of thoughts came to mind.  I have such an on-again, off-again relationship with the Psalms in the context of my daily prayer life.  I have mentioned on this blog before some of my daily prayer practices, for example the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The truth is that there are times during the year when I use it, as well as the full Liturgy of the Hours, while at other times I simply don't.  This often is an issue of simply being consistent with a particular devotion, which for some reason is a difficulty for me.   I have noticed that there are times when I feel like I am just "saying" the prayers/psalms instead of actually slowly praying them.  Of course, this is one of the main reasons to pray some form of the breviary, since one of its main goals is to slow down and ponder the psalms.  I also think state of life has something to do with this, particularly with two jobs and a growing family. Perhaps some of you have experienced this?  

However, when I sit down with a psalm like Psalm 96, and yes even in The Message translation, I am reminded of God's goodness and what my response should be to Him.  How often am I willing to sing with joy at Mass for all that the Lord has done for me?  How often am I willing to "get out the message" to those I meet each day, particularly the lost?  Perhaps one of the reasons to remain faithful to a daily prayer life with the Psalms is in order to be reminded of His goodness and how He waits upon my response.  

Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8, 9-10
Sing God a brand-new song!
Earth and everyone in it, sing!
Sing to Godworship God!
Shout the news of his victory from sea to sea,
Take the news of his glory to the lost,
News of his wonders to one and all!
Bravo, God, Bravo!
Everyone join in the great shout: Encore!
In awe before the beauty, in awe before the might.
Bring gifts and celebrate,
Bow before the beauty of God, Then to your knees—everyone worship!
Get out the message—God Rules!
He put the world on a firm foundation;
He treats everyone fair and square.


rolf said...

'Bravo God bravo... Encore!' ??? :-(

Ed Rio said...

Slowing down and having my heart and mind involved in praying the Psalms is a struggle for me too at times. Something that helped me a lot was reading The Practice of the Presence of God. With the hectic pace we all seem to put ourselves in, taking the time for some deep breaths and putting myself into God's presence before praying really helps. Then there are times when I fall asleep during the Liturgy of the Hours. God is a loving Father who knows the responsibilities I have, and that I need rest.

rolf said...

Ed, I am with you on falling asleep during the Liturgy of the Hours at night, I had to start evening prayer earlier to avoid this. But If I fall asleep during prayer I don't worry about it, because I am falling asleep with God on my mind! Pope Francis wrote in his introduction to the German language Youcat Bible: 'Sometimes I even fall asleep while praying. But it dies not matter. I am like a son with the father, and that is what is important.'

Ed Rio said...

Rolf, I like how Pope Francis puts it. Being like a son with the Father, there's a lot of peace and security felt during those times. Maybe I'll try to start Evening Prayer a little sooner though so snoozing doesn't become too much of a habit.

Christopher Buckley said...

Amen to all above on the LOTH.

As for this passage from the Message... why do I imagine a clown performing interpretive dance on a trampoline?