But it is most fundamentally a song of faith, a thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness and love.
What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.
When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage,
it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
on our lips there were songs.
The heathens themselves said: ‘What marvels
the Lord worked for them!’
What marvels the Lord worked for us!
Indeed we were glad.
Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage
as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears
will sing when they reap.
They go out, they go out, full of tears,
carrying seed for the sowing:
they come back, they come back, full of song,
carrying their sheaves.
Often, probably too often, we can be so preoccupied with what is changing in life – for example, the ups and downs – that we do not recognise the constant.
One of the functions of the Liturgy, including the Mass, is to restore a proper perspective to us. Our turning to God helps us know afresh how steadily and constantly our God is turned to us.
- What are the ups and downs that have led you from God?
- And which have led you to God?
- And where are you now?
Bring your thoughts to God in prayer.
Detail of Young Acrobat on a ball by Picasso, in collection of Pushkin Museum, Moscow. Photograph (c) 2015, Allen Morris