Speak Lord: Praise the good God

Mary

The psalm at Sunday’s Mass has the congregation echo in song (ideally) the praise of God’s goodness and care which was the subject of the first reading

 O Lord, you are good and forgiving.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
full of love to all who call.
Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my voice.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving.

All the nations shall come to adore you
and glorify your name, O Lord:
for you are great and do marvellous deeds,
you who alone are God.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving.

But you, God of mercy and compassion,
slow to anger, O Lord,
abounding in love and truth,
turn and take pity on me.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving.

Psalm 85:5-6,9-10,15-16

The psalmist moves from expressions of praise and gratitude for God’s goodness to others, to a request that this goodness should be shown also to him.

How often is it easier to trust that God is good to others, but hesitate before entrusting ourselves and our weaknesses to him

  • What do you hide from the Lord?
  • Why?
  • Why will he be merciful to you?

 In praying with the psalms, it is often helpful to use play to bring us to prayer.

One, sometimes provocative, way of doing this is to change the pronouns of the text

As in the following

O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
full of love to all who me when I call.
You give heed, O Lord, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my voice.

But when do I call and for what?

All the nations  I shall come to adore you
and glorify your name, O Lord:
for you are great and do marvellous deeds,
you who alone are God.

What holds me back from the fullness of adoration of the Lord?

But you, God of mercy and compassion,
slow to anger, O Lord,
abounding in love and truth,
turn and take pity on me.

That last verse was not changed, but how true would this reworked version of it be?

Like my God, I am merciful and compassionate
slow to anger,
abounding in love and truth,
my brothers and sisters can turn to me, sure to find pity and help.

What could make it true?

Image of Mary and Jesus from Church of the Visitation, Ein Kerem, in the Holy Land. Photograph (c) Allen Morris, 2014.