Psalm for Mass of the 1st Sunday of Advent

The psalmist remembers God’s love and mercy. And pleads for God’s continuing care for his people.

The excerpts from the Biblical psalm that are presented in this Sunday’s Liturgy highlight not the liberation of the Hebrews from Egypt, but God’s arguably more personal and intimate engagement with the family of Jacob, the origin of the ten tribes of Israel.

The text in the Liturgy focuses on the cry for help: the full text gives more sense of our vulnerability, and why we need help.

  • What help now do you need?
  • What have been your struggles in the past days, past year?
  • What struggle lie ahead?
  • Have you, do you, ask God for help?

Psalm 79(80):2-3,15-16,18-19
Responsorial Psalm for the 1st Sunday of Advent

(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 80 (79)
1           For the Choirmaster. Intoned likeLilies of Testimony.” Of Asaph. A Psalm.

2           O shepherd of Israel, hear us,
            you who lead Joseph like a flock:
            enthroned on the cherubim, shine forth
3           upon Ephraim, Benjamin, Manasseh.
            Rouse up your might and come to save us.

4           O God, bring us back;
            let your face shine on us, and we shall be saved.
5           How long, O Lord, God of hosts,
            will you be angry at the prayer of your people?
6           You have fed them with tears for their bread,
            an abundance of tears for their drink.
7           You have made us the taunt of our neighbors;
            our foes mock us among themselves.
          O God of hosts, bring us back;
            let your face shine forth, and we shall be saved.
9           You brought a vine out of Egypt;
            you drove out the nations and planted it.
10         Before it you cleared the ground;
            it took root and filled the land.
11         The mountains were covered with its shadow,
            the cedars of God with its boughs.
12         It stretched out its branches to the sea;
            to the River it stretched out its shoots.
13         Then why have you broken down its walls?
            It is plucked by all who pass by the way.
14         It is ravaged by the boar of the forest,
            devoured by the beasts of the field.

15         God of hosts, turn again, we implore;
            look down from heaven and see.
            Visit this vine and protect it,
16         the vine your right hand has planted,
            the son of man you have claimed for yourself.

17         They have burnt it with fire and cut it down.
            May they perish at the frown of your face.

 18         May your hand be on the man at your right hand,
            the son of man you have confirmed as your own.
19         And we shall never forsake you again;
            give us life that we may call upon your name.

20         O Lord God of hosts, bring us back;
            let your face shine forth, and we shall be saved.

~ Translation of Psalm: From The Revised Grail Psalms: A Liturgical Psalter. (c) 2010
~ Commentary: © 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph:© 2018, Allen Morris. Detail of Sanctuary wall from the Susiya synagogue, Israel Museum, Jerusalem.


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