The words of the psalm we will hear at Mass on Sunday could come from Jeremiah (see yesterday’s blog giving Sunday’s first reading) – and certainly it is easy to imagine Jeremiah praying these words.
They are words formed in the heart of one who is exhausted and feels apart from God.
In our days, and in our present circumstances, there are many such – and we ourselves may be of their number.
And yet they are words of hope and of resilience. And surely pleasing to God, when they are prayed not out of immediate satisfaction of all our needs but from a vulnerable and testing place, and yet prayed with longing and trust in the faithfulness of God.
(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 63 (62)
1 A Psalm of David when he was in the desert of Judah.
2 O God, you are my God; at dawn I seek you;
for you my soul is thirsting.
For you my flesh is pining,
like a dry, weary land without water.
3 I have come before you in the sanctuary,
to behold your strength and your glory.
4 Your loving mercy is better than life;
my lips will speak your praise.
5 I will bless you all my life;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
6 My soul shall be filled as with a banquet;
with joyful lips, my mouth shall praise you.
7 When I remember you upon my bed,
I muse on you through the watches of the night.
8 For you have been my strength;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
9 My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.
10 Those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down to the depths of the earth.
11 Put to the power of the sword,
they shall be left as prey for the jackals.
12 But the king shall rejoice in God;
all that swear by him shall exult,
for the mouth of liars shall be silenced.
~ Translation of Psalm: From The Revised Grail Psalms: A Liturgical Psalter. (c) 2010.~ Commentary: (c) 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photo: (c) 2016, Allen Morris. St Peter’s Square, Rome.