Speak Lord: welcome…

p1030832-bethelhem

Let the Lord enter! He is the king of glory.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the waters he made it firm.

Let the Lord enter! He is the king of glory.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things.

Let the Lord enter! He is the king of glory.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Let the Lord enter! He is the king of glory.

Psalm 23:1-6

The Responsorial Psalm at Mass tomorrow, the 4th Sunday of Advent, is a psalm that was perhaps first used to remember David’s bringing the ark of the covenant into the temple; to pray God into the Temple. The song celebrates divine presence, and urges us to holiness.

Christians sing this psalm in our preparation for Christmas, for celebrating the Lord’s entry into a union with us through our human nature, in us a fallen nature, but in him with all its potential achieved. We celebrate not a Temple of stones to which people go to worship but a Temple that is community of living stones – where worship is given, above all, through our daily faithful living enfleshing the love of God for us and all.

The door to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, famously, is mostly bricked in – by tradition to stop people riding in on horseback. We now have to stoop to enter the church, where God humbled himself to enter into irrevocable union with humankind.

May we enter: for the Lord of glory welcomes us…

Entrance to Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem. (c) 2007, Allen Morris.

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