The Lord’s revelation to my Master:
‘Sit on my right:
your foes I will put beneath your feet.’
The Lord will wield from Zion
your sceptre of power:
rule in the midst of all your foes.
A prince from the day of your birth
on the holy mountains;
from the womb before the dawn I begot you.
The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change.
‘You are a priest for ever,
a priest like Melchizedek of old.’
Responsorial Psalm for Corpus Christi
The psalm – perhaps originally sung in honour of Israel’s kings – finds new meaning in the Church where it is applied to Jesus.
- The language of relationship between Lord and Master speaks of intimacy and care between the two, but also in the light of the resurrection and ascension now implies a present sharing in the divine and heavenly life.
- Christians will find in the language of ‘begotten before the dawn’ a way of considering the unique origin of the Word that is incarnate in Jesus
- The unique salvation won by Jesus is linked to priestly ministry, but to a pre-Aaronic priesthood, exercised by the somewhat mysterious figure of Melchizedek – known only from a brief episode in Genesis.
The metaphors and narrative of the psalm give us new access to the mystery of the Lord Jesus.
St Eloi, Bordeaux. Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris.