The verses of the psalm provided for Sunday focus on the past works of the Lord, notably the saving of the people of Israel at the Red Sea.
Omitted though are the words about the saving actions of the Lord for the psalmist and his contemporaries – tested by having ‘men ride over our heads;’ having us pass ‘through fire and through water,’ but then bring ‘us to a place of plenty’. We perhaps need these additional words as we bring the words of the Liturgy to our prayer.
We ourselves, as individuals may not have had things too bad during the present crisis – at least not yet – but the Lord’s love and protection is there for us as a people whatever the particular trials and tribulations which have tested us as individuals.
Through thick or thin, God, does reject our prayer, nor withhold from ushis merciful love.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 65(66):1-7,16,20
Psalm 66 (65)
1 For the Choirmaster. A Song. A Psalm.
Cry out with joy to God, all the earth;
2 O sing to the glory of his name.
O render him glorious praise.
3 Say to God, “How awesome your deeds!
Because of the greatness of your strength,
your enemies fawn upon you.
4 Before you all the earth shall bow down,
shall sing to you, sing to your name!”
5 Come and see the works of God:
awesome his deeds among the children of men.
6 He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
Let our joy, then, be in him;
7 he rules forever by his might.
His eyes keep watch on the nations:
let rebels not exalt themselves.
8 O peoples, bless our God;
let the voice of his praise resound,
9 of the God who gave life to our souls
and kept our feet from stumbling.
10 For you, O God, have tested us,
you have tried us as silver is tried;
11 you led us, God, into the snare;
you laid a heavy burden on our backs.
12 You let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water,
but then you brought us to a place of plenty.
13 Burnt offering I bring to your house;
to you I will pay my vows,
14 the vows which my lips have uttered,
which my mouth declared in my distress.
15 I will offer you burnt offerings of fatlings
with the smoke of sacrificial rams.
I will offer bullocks and goats.
16 Come and hear, all who fear God;
I will tell what he did for my soul.
17 To him I cried aloud,
with exaltation ready on my tongue.
18 Had I considered evil in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 But truly God has listened;
he has heeded the voice of my prayer.
20 Blest be God, who did not reject my prayer,
nor withhold from me his merciful love.
Early Christian carving – Crossing of the Red Sea, Musée Départemental Arles Antique. (c) 2014, Allen Morris