Speak Lord: My refuge, my joy

Healing and Incorporation, Liverpool The Responsorial Psalm on Sunday, the 6th in Ordinary Time, has the congregation thank for the Lord for care and safety, for healing and welcome back into God’s ‘family’.

On Sunday, the psalm is prayed, of course, immediately after we have heard the precepts of Leviticus about segregation and exclusion, which  – at least to modern ears – are rather harrowing.

 

You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Happy the man whose offence is forgiven,
whose sin is remitted.
O happy the man to whom the Lord
imputes no guilt,
in whose spirit is no guile.

But now I have acknowledged my sins;
my guilt I did not hide.
I said: ‘I will confess
my offence to the Lord.’
And you, Lord, have forgivenThe
the guilt of my sin.

Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord,
exult, you just!
O come, ring out your joy,
all you upright of heart.

You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Psalm 31:1-2,5,11

Few of us will have experienced, or imposed, the exclusion envisaged in Leviticus. But guilt and shame is something we are all very familiar with. And that tends to form its own  barriers, and have us hide from ourselves and others.

The psalmist knows the re-integration which is brought about by the love and mercy of God. And does not keep it to himself!

  • What keeps you from feeling whole and wholesome? Try to bring your needs to the Lord in prayer.
  • Who do you know who seems to live ‘in exile’? How might you reach out to them? Simple prayer to God for them can have its good effects!

Photograph of the Holy Oils used in celebrations of Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination, and the Anointing of the Sick and their place of reservation at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. (c) 2006, Allen Morris.

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