How open, how trusting is the penitent in the psalm.
And how fully, how generously the Lord does respond to us in our vulnerability and frailty.
His generosity is the foundation of our hope.
- What helps you to make frank confession of your needs?
- What holds you back?
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 51:3–4, 5–6, 12–13, 17
(NB the text set for Sunday is given below in bold and in ‘quote sections’ below; the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)
Psalm 51 (50)
1 For the Choirmaster. A Psalm of David 2 when the prophet Nathan came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba.
3 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your merciful love;
according to your great compassion,
blot out my transgressions.
4 Wash me completely from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
5 My transgressions, truly I know them;
my sin is always before me.
6 Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
what is evil in your sight I have done.
So you are just in your sentence,
without reproach in your judgment.
7 O see, in guilt I was born,
a sinner when my mother conceived me.
8 Yes, you delight in sincerity of heart;
in secret you teach me wisdom.
9 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be pure;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
10 Let me hear rejoicing and gladness,
that the bones you have crushed may exult.
11 Turn away your face from my sins,
and blot out all my guilt.
12 Create a pure heart for me, O God;
renew a steadfast spirit within me.
13 Do not cast me away from your presence;
take not your holy spirit from me.
14 Restore in me the joy of your salvation;
sustain in me a willing spirit.
15 I will teach transgressors your ways,
that sinners may return to you.
16 Rescue me from bloodshed, O God,
God of my salvation,
and then my tongue shall ring out your justice.
17 O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
18 For in sacrifice you take no delight;
burnt offering from me would not please you.
19 My sacrifice to God, a broken spirit:
a broken and humbled heart,
O God, you will not spurn.
20 In your good pleasure, show favor to Sion;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
21 Then you will delight in right sacrifice,
burnt offerings wholly consumed.
Then you will be offered young bulls on your altar.
- Translation of Psalms: From The Revised Grail Psalms: A Liturgical Psalter. (c) 2010.
- Commentary: (c) 2020, Allen Morris
- Photo: (c) 2019, Allen Morris. Throne of mercy (Amongst the carvings): St Cybi’s church, Holyhead, Angelsey.