Speak Lord: As we respond with joy

Roman Sarcophagus, St Trophime, Arles

The Responsorial Psalm at Mass tomorrow, the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, is once more a grateful confession of God’s goodness and care for the psalmist and his people.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

Cry out with joy to God all the earth,
O sing to the glory of his name.
O render him glorious praise.
Say to God: ‘How tremendous your deeds!

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

‘Before you all the earth shall bow;
shall sing to you, sing to your name!’
Come and see the works of God,
tremendous his deeds among men.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

He turned the sea into dry land,
they passed through the river dry-shod.
Let our joy then be in him;
he rules for ever by his might.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

Come and hear, all who fear God.
I will tell what he did for my soul:
Blessed be God who did not reject my prayer
nor withhold his love from me.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

Psalm 65:1-7,16,20

The psalmist associates himself with those saved by God at the Red Sea from the Egyptian army; at the Jordan from the wilderness wanderings; from the dangers and threats of ‘everyday’ life. His perspective of who he is and what he is a part of  is very different to the more atomised ‘private’ perspective that is more common in the 21st Century, at least in Western Europe.

That contemporary perspective, chiselled, honed and fashioned especially by commercial interests – we are what we buy, now, and are driven what we want to buy next – leaves us effectively and paradoxically dispossessed of that very much more that is our history, our people, and who we are in communion with others. It also of course alienates us from God.

For the psalmist we are because of God. Without him we are lost, destroyed.

For those who find themselves lost presently, insecure and unsure, it is good news that God cares, always has and always will.

  • What gives you your identity?

Sarcophagus altar showing the crossing of the Red Sea. St Trophime, Arles. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.

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