Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday's Message: First Sunday of Lent (C)

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 always pause for a moment when I read in the Bible that God "listened to our voice."  I get the immense sense of awe and wonder that God would even do that!  Then I remember the beauty of Psalm 8 (NABRE), which seems to reflect this reality of God's care and love for his people and creation:

O Lord, our Lord,
    how awesome is your name through all the earth!
I will sing of your majesty above the heavens
    with the mouths of babes and infants.
You have established a bulwark against your foes,
    to silence enemy and avenger.
 When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and stars that you set in place—
What is man that you are mindful of him,
    and a son of man that you care for him?
 Yet you have made him little less than a god,
    crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
    put all things at his feet:
All sheep and oxen,
    even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,
    and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
    how awesome is your name through all the earth!

How awesome you are O Lord!

Deuteronomy 26:4-10
"The priest will take the basket from you and place it on the Altar of God, your God. And there in the Presence of God, your God, you will recite:
A wandering Aramean was my father,
he went down to Egypt and sojourned there,
he and just a handful of his brothers at first, but soon
they became a great nation, mighty and many.
The Egyptians abused and battered us,
in a cruel and savage slavery.
We cried out to God, the God-of-Our-Fathers:
He listened to our voice, he saw
our destitution, our trouble, our cruel plight.
And God took us out of Egypt
with his strong hand and long arm, terrible and great,
with signs and miracle-wonders.
And he brought us to this place,
gave us this land flowing with milk and honey.
So here I am. I’ve brought the firstfruits
of what I’ve grown on this ground you gave me, O God.
Then place it in the Presence of God, your God. Prostrate yourselves in the Presence of God, your God. And rejoice! Celebrate all the good things that God, your God, has given you and your family; you and the Levite and the foreigner who lives with you."


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for featuring the Psalms of the NABRE. They are beautiful! Several times while praying the Liturgy of the Hours I have used the NABRE in place of the Grail Psalms. They work well for me. Perhaps some day they will be in the USCCB LOH. Psalm 8 is a favorite of mine and I often listen to the beautiful Anglican Chant of Psalm 8 which uses the words of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer:


Evergreen Guy said...

I wonder why that Scripture passage regarding the offerings isn't more widely used when praying with the liturgy during Mass. That's a great devotional to use while the offerings are being taken, it is part prayer, part creed -- a recitation of a key part of salvation history.

Tom said...

I'm a bit surprised that The Message went with "A wandering Aramean", a phrase perhaps a bit cryptic. Thought it might substitute "Jacob" or "A wandering nomad"....