Two alternative Psalms are offered in the Lectionary for Holy Family Sunday – the first Sunday of Christmas.
The psalm below is that offered especially for use in Year C, this year, the Year of Luke, and the Year of Mercy.
They are happy who dwell in your house, O Lord.
How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord, God of hosts.
My soul is longing and yearning,
is yearning for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my soul ring out their joy
to God, the living God.
They are happy, who dwell in your house,
for ever singing your praise.
They are happy, whose strength is in you,
in whose hearts are the roads to Zion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer,
give ear, O God of Jacob.
Turn your eyes, O God, our shield,
look on the face of your anointed.
As with the life we live, so too the Church’s Liturgical Year can sometimes seem overloaded – Christmas, Holy Family, Luke, Mercy…
It can seem like an overloaded pudding, too many good things, and too soon leading to indigestion!
So, especially if Christmas feasting was extended, maybe a little quiet family time is called for… a time for digesting of bringing together self, others, life, faith, past, future… a time in the present for quiet refelcting and pondering…
It all begins with family in some sense… Harm done in the family often can never be fully repaired, and a good start in the family can never be taken away from us. Family matters, very much.
We often identify ourselves almost exclusively with our human family. Yet Jesus comes to remind us of something prior. Before we were born, perhaps before we were conceived, the idea we were known and loved in the heart of God. Our most fundamental identity comes from being the children of God: he is Father of us before there was an us and in his love and faithfulness is the bed-rock of our lives as individuals, families, communities, civilisation.
Often we do not acknowledge this, sometimes our actions put it in jeopardy (or seem to). But in these days it is good to ponder on the Fatherhood of God – and our responsibility, under God, and with Jesus, in the Spirit – to sustain and develop the family connections, starting at home and extending to all our brothers and sisters in God.
- Pray to be a faithful child of God.
- Pray to be a good sister or brother.
Bethlehem in Boldmere. (c) 2015, Allen Morris.