Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ps 118, 24 This is the day the LORD has made

(Ps 118, 24) This is the day the LORD has made

[24] This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad

(CCC 2171) God entrusted the sabbath to Israel to keep as a sign of the irrevocable covenant (Cf. Ex 31:16). The sabbath is for the Lord, holy and set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on behalf of Israel. (CCC 348) The sabbath is at the heart of Israel's law. To keep the commandments is to correspond to the wisdom and the will of God as expressed in his work of creation. (CCC 349) The eighth day. But for us a new day has dawned: the day of Christ's Resurrection. The seventh day completes the first creation. The eighth day begins the new creation. Thus, the work of creation culminates in the greater work of redemption. The first creation finds its meaning and its summit in the new creation in Christ, the splendour of which surpasses that of the first creation (Cf. Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 24, prayer after the first reading). (CCC 2175) Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ's Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man's eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ (Cf. 1 Cor 10:11): Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord's Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Magn. 9, 1: SCh 10, 88).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ps 118, 22 The stone the builders rejected

(Ps 118, 22) The stone the builders rejected

[22] The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

(CCC 587) If the Law and the Jerusalem Temple could be occasions of opposition to Jesus by Israel's religious authorities, his role in the redemption of sins, the divine work par excellence, was the true stumbling-block for them (Cf. Lk 2:34; 20:17-18; Ps 118:22). (CCC 756) "Often, too, the Church is called the building of God. The Lord compared himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the comer-stone. On this foundation the Church is built by the apostles and from it the Church receives solidity and unity. This edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God in which his family dwells; the household of God in the Spirit; the dwelling-place of God among men; and, especially, the holy temple. This temple, symbolized in places of worship built out of stone, is praised by the Fathers and, not without reason, is compared in the liturgy to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. As living stones we here on earth are built into it. It is this holy city that is seen by John as it comes down out of heaven from God when the world is made anew, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband (LG 6; cf. 1 Cor 3:9; Mt 21:42 and parallels; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet 2:7; Ps 118:22; 1 Cor 3:11; 1 Tim 3:15; Eph 2:19-22; Rev 21:3; 1 Pet 2:5; Rev 21:1-2).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ps 118, 14 The LORD my strength and might

(Ps 118, 14) The LORD my strength and might

[14] The LORD, my strength and might, came to me as savior.

(CCC 1808) Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. "The Lord is my strength and my song" (Ps 118:14). "In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (Jn 16:33).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ps 116, 12-13. 17 I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving

(Ps 116, 12-13. 17) I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving

[12] How can I repay the LORD for all the good done for me? [13] I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. [17] I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.

(CCC 224) It means living in thanksgiving: if God is the only One, everything we are and have comes from him: "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor 4:7). "What shall I render to the LORD for all his bounty to me?" (Ps 116:12). (CCC 1330) The memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection. The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church's offering. The terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, "sacrifice of praise," spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used (Heb 13:15; cf. 1 Pet 25; Ps 116:13, 17; Mal 1:11), since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant. The Holy and Divine Liturgy, because the Church's whole liturgy finds its center and most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration the Sacred Mysteries. We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. The Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ps 115, 16 The heavens belong to the LORD

(Ps 115, 16) The heavens belong to the LORD

[16] The heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth is given to us.

(CCC 326) The Scriptural expression "heaven and earth" means all that exists, creation in its entirety. It also indicates the bond, deep within creation, that both unites heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other: "the earth" is the world of men, while "heaven" or "the heavens" can designate both the firmament and God's own "place" - "our Father in heaven" and consequently the "heaven" too which is eschatological glory. Finally, "heaven" refers to the saints and the "place" of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God (Ps 115:16; 19:2; Mt 5:16).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ps 115, 15 The LORD who made heaven and earth

(Ps 115, 15) The LORD who made heaven and earth

[15] May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

(CCC 216) God's truth is his wisdom, which commands the whole created order and governs the world (Cf. Wis 13:1-9). God, who alone made heaven and earth, can alone impart true knowledge of every created thing in relation to himself (Cf. Ps 115:15; Wis 7:17-21). (CCC 287) The truth about creation is so important for all of human life that God in his tenderness wanted to reveal to his People everything that is salutary to know on the subject. Beyond the natural knowledge that every man can have of the Creator (Cf. Acts 17:24-29; Rom 1:19-20), God progressively revealed to Israel the mystery of creation. He who chose the patriarchs, who brought Israel out of Egypt, and who by choosing Israel created and formed it, this same God reveals himself as the One to whom belong all the peoples of the earth, and the whole earth itself; he is the One who alone "made heaven and earth" (Cf. Isa 43:1; Pss 115:15; 124:8; 134:3).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ps 115, 4-5. 8 Their idols have mouths but do not speak

(Ps 115, 4-5. 8) Their idols have mouths but do not speak

[4] Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. [5] They have mouths but do not speak, eyes but do not see. [8] Their makers shall be like them, all who trust in them.

(CCC 2112) The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, (of) silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see." These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them" (Ps 115:4-5, 8; cf. Isa 44:9-20; Jer 10:1-16; Dan 14:1-30; Bar 6; Wis 13: 1- 15:19). God, however, is the "living God" (Josh 3:10; Ps 42:3; etc.) who gives life and intervenes in history.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ps 115, 3 Whatever God wills is done

(Ps 115, 3) Whatever God wills is done

[3] Our God is in heaven; whatever God wills is done.

(CCC 268) Of all the divine attributes, only God's omnipotence is named in the Creed: to confess this power has great bearing on our lives. We believe that his might is universal, for God who created everything also rules everything and can do everything. God's power is loving, for he is our Father, and mysterious, for only faith can discern it when it "is made perfect in weakness" (Cf. Gen 1:1; Jn 1:3; Mt 6:9; 2 Cor 12:9; cf. 1 Cor 1:18). (CCC 303) The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events of the world and its history. The sacred books powerfully affirm God's absolute sovereignty over the course of events: "Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases" (Ps 115:3) and so it is with Christ, "who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens" (Rev 3:7). As the book of Proverbs states: "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established" (Prov 19:21).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ps 113, 1-2 Praise the name of the LORD

(Ps 113, 1-2) Praise the name of the LORD

[1] Hallelujah! Praise, you servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. [2] Blessed be the name of the LORD both now and forever.

(CCC 2639) Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because HE IS. It shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart who love God in faith before seeing him in glory. By praise, the Spirit is joined to our spirits to bear witness that we are children of God (Cf. Rom 8:16), testifying to the only Son in whom we are adopted and by whom we glorify the Father. Praise embraces the other forms of prayer and carries them toward him who is its source and goal: the "one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist" (1 Cor 8:6). (CCC 2626) Blessing expresses the basic movement of Christian prayer: it is an encounter between God and man. In blessing, God's gift and man's acceptance of it are united in dialogue with each other. The prayer of blessing is man's response to God's gifts: because God blesses, the human heart can in return bless the One who is the source of every blessing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ps 111, 9 You ratified your covenant forever

(Ps 111, 9) You ratified your covenant forever

[9] You sent deliverance to your people, ratified your covenant forever; holy and awesome is your name.

(CCC 121) The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value (Cf. DV 14), for the Old Covenant has never been revoked. (CCC 73) God has revealed himself fully by sending his own Son, in whom he has established his covenant for ever. The Son is his Father's definitive Word; so there will be no further Revelation after him.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ps 110, 4 Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever

(Ps 110, 4) Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever

[4] The LORD has sworn and will not waver: "Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever."

(CCC 1539) The chosen people was constituted by God as "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Ex 19:6; cf. Isa 61:6). But within the people of Israel, God chose one of the twelve tribes, that of Levi, and set it apart for liturgical service; God himself is its inheritance (Cf. Num 1:48-53; Josh 13:33). A special rite consecrated the beginnings of the priesthood of the Old Covenant. The priests are "appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins." (Heb 5:1; cf. Ex 29:1-30; Lev 8). (CCC 1540) Instituted to proclaim the Word of God and to restore communion with God by sacrifices and prayer (Cf. Mal 2:7-9), this priesthood nevertheless remains powerless to bring about salvation, needing to repeat its sacrifices ceaselessly and being unable to achieve a definitive sanctification, which only the sacrifice of Christ would accomplish (Cf. Heb 5:3; 7:27; 10:1-4).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ps 110, 1 Take your throne at my righthand

(Ps 110, 1) Take your throne at my righthand

[1] A psalm of David. The LORD says to you, my lord: "Take your throne at my righthand, while I make your enemies your footstool.

(CCC 659) "So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God" (Mk 16:19). Christ's body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys (Cf. Lk 24:31; Jn 20:19, 26). But during the forty days when he eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom, his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordinary humanity (Cf. Acts 1:3; 10:41; Mk 16:12; Lk 24:15; Jn 20:14-15; 21:4). Jesus' final apparition ends with the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory, symbolized by the cloud and by heaven, where he is seated from that time forward at God's right hand (Cf. Acts 1:9; 2:33; 7:56; Lk 9:34-35; 24:51; Ex 13:22; Mk 16:19; Ps 110:1). Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would Jesus show himself to Paul "as to one untimely born", in a last apparition that established him as an apostle (1 Cor 15:8; cf. 9:1; Gal 1:16).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ps 107, 20 Sent forth the word to heal them

(Ps 107, 20) Sent forth the word to heal them

[20] Sent forth the word to heal them, snatched them from the grave.

(CCC 1502) The man of the Old Testament lives his sickness in the presence of God. It is before God that he laments his illness, and it is of God, Master of life and death, that he implores healing (Cf. Pss 6:3; 38; Isa 38). Illness becomes a way to conversion; God's forgiveness initiates the healing (Cf. Pss 32:5; 38:5; 39:9, 12; 107:20; cf. Mk 2:5-12). It is the experience of Israel that illness is mysteriously linked to sin and evil, and that faithfulness to God according to his law restores life: "For I am the Lord, your healer" (Ex 15:26). The prophet intuits that suffering can also have a redemptive meaning for the sins of others (Cf. Isa 53:11). Finally Isaiah announces that God will usher in a time for Zion when he will pardon every offense and heal every illness (Cf. Isa 33:24).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ps 106, 23 To turn back his destroying anger

(Ps 106, 23) To turn back his destroying anger

[23] He would have decreed their destruction, had not Moses, the chosen leader, Withstood him in the breach to turn back his destroying anger.

(CCC 2577) From this intimacy with the faithful God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Cf. Ex 34:6), Moses drew strength and determination for his intercession. He does not pray for himself but for the people whom God made his own. Moses already intercedes for them during the battle with the Amalekites and prays to obtain healing for Miriam (Cf. Ex 17:8-12; Num 12:13-14). But it is chiefly after their apostasy that Moses "stands in the breach" before God in order to save the people (Ps 106:23; cf. Ex 32:1-34:9). The arguments of his prayer - for intercession is also a mysterious battle - will inspire the boldness of the great intercessors among the Jewish people and in the Church: God is love; he is therefore righteous and faithful; he cannot contradict himself; he must remember his marvellous deeds, since his glory is at stake, and he cannot forsake this people that bears his name.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ps 105, 3 Rejoice O hearts that seek the LORD!

(Ps 105, 3) Rejoice O hearts that seek the LORD!

[3] Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!

(CCC 30) "Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice" (Ps 105:3). Although man can forget God or reject him, He never ceases to call every man to seek him, so as to find life and happiness. But this search for God demands of man every effort of intellect, a sound will, "an upright heart", as well as the witness of others who teach him to seek God. You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised: great is your power and your wisdom is without measure. And man, so small a part of your creation, wants to praise you: this man, though clothed with mortality and bearing the evidence of sin and the proof that you withstand the proud. Despite everything, man, though but a small a part of your creation, wants to praise you. You yourself encourage him to delight in your praise, for you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you (St. Augustine, Conf. 1, 1, 1: PL 32, 659-661).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ps 104, 30 You send forth your breath they are created

(Ps 104, 30) You send forth your breath they are created

[30] When you send forth your breath, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.

(CCC 292) The Old Testament suggests and the New Covenant reveals the creative action of the Son and the Spirit (Pss 33: 6 104: 30; Gen 1: 2-3) inseparably one with that of the Father. This creative co-operation is clearly affirmed in the Church's rule of faith: "There exists but one God… he is the Father, God, the Creator, the author, the giver of order. He made all things by himself, that is, by his Word and by his Wisdom", "by the Son and the Spirit" who, so to speak, are "his hands" (St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 2, 30, 9; 4, 20, I: PG 7/1, 822, 1032). Creation is the common work of the Holy Trinity. (CCC 703) The Word of God and his Breath are at the origin of the being and life of every creature (Cf. Pss 33:6; 104:30; Gen 1:2; 2:7; Eccl 3:20-21; Ezek 37:10): It belongs to the Holy Spirit to rule, sanctify, and animate creation, for he is God, consubstantial with the Father and the Son.... Power over life pertains to the Spirit, for being God he preserves creation in the Father through the Son (Byzantine liturgy, Sundays of the second mode, Troparion of Morning Prayer).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ps 104, 27 Look to you to give them food in due time

(Ps 104, 27) Look to you to give them food in due time

[27] All of these look to you to give them food in due time.

(CCC 2830) "Our bread": the Father who gives us life cannot not but give us the nourishment life requires - all appropriate goods and blessings, both material and spiritual. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus insists on the filial trust that cooperates with our Father's providence (Cf. Mt 6:25-34). He is not inviting us to idleness (Cf. 2 Thess 3:6-13), but wants to relieve us from nagging worry and preoccupation. Such is the filial surrender of the children of God: To those who seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, he has promised to give all else besides. Since everything indeed belongs to God, he who possesses God wants for nothing, if he himself is not found wanting before God (St. Cyprian, De Dom. orat. 21 PL 4, 534A).

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ps 104, 24 How varied are your works, LORD!

(Ps 104, 24) How varied are your works, LORD!

[24] How varied are your works, LORD! In wisdom you have wrought them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

(CCC 295) We believe that God created the world according to his wisdom (Cf. Wis 9:9). It is not the product of any necessity whatever, nor of blind fate or chance. We believe that it proceeds from God's free will; he wanted to make his creatures share in his being, wisdom and goodness: "For you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created" (Rev 4:11). Therefore the Psalmist exclaims: "O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all"; and "The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made" (Pss 104:24; 145:9).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ps 104, 15 Wine to gladden our hearts

(Ps 104, 15) Wine to gladden our hearts

[15] and wine to gladden our hearts, Oil to make our faces gleam, food to build our strength.

(CCC 1334) In the Old Covenant bread and wine were offered in sacrifice among the first fruits of the earth as a sign of grateful acknowledgment to the Creator. But they also received a new significance in the context of the Exodus: the unleavened bread that Israel eats every year at Passover commemorates the haste of the departure that liberated them from Egypt; the remembrance of the manna in the desert will always recall to Israel that it lives by the bread of the Word of God (Cf. Deut 8:3); their daily bread is the fruit of the promised land, the pledge of God's faithfulness to his promises. The "cup of blessing" (1 Cor 10:16) at the end of the Jewish Passover meal adds to the festive joy of wine an eschatological dimension: the messianic expectation of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. When Jesus instituted the Eucharist, he gave a new and definitive meaning to the blessing of the bread and the cup. (CCC 1293) In treating the rite of Confirmation, it is fitting to consider the sign of anointing and what it signifies and imprints: a spiritual seal. Anointing, in Biblical and other ancient symbolism, is rich in meaning: oil is a sign of abundance and joy (Cf. Deut 11:14; Pss 23:5; 104:15); it cleanses (anointing before and after a bath) and limbers (the anointing of athletes and wrestlers); oil is a sign of healing, since it is soothing to bruises and wounds (Cf. Isa 1:6; Lk 10:34); and it makes radiant with beauty, health, and strength.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ps 104, 13-14 You water the mountains from your palace

(Ps 104, 13-14) You water the mountains from your palace

[13] You water the mountains from your palace; by your labor the earth abounds. [14] You raise grass for the cattle and plants for our beasts of burden. You bring bread from the earth,

(CCC 288) Thus the revelation of creation is inseparable from the revelation and forging of the covenant of the one God with his People. Creation is revealed as the first step towards this covenant, the first and universal witness to God's all-powerful love (Cf. Gen 15:5; Jer 33:19-26). And so, the truth of creation is also expressed with growing vigour in the message of the prophets, the prayer of the psalms and the liturgy, and in the wisdom sayings of the Chosen People (Cf. Isa 44:24; Ps 104; Prov 8:22-31).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ps 103, 20 All you angels obedient to every command

(Ps 103, 20) All you angels obedient to every command

[20] Bless the LORD, all you angels, mighty in strength and attentive, obedient to every command.

(CCC 329) St. Augustine says: "'Angel' is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is 'spirit'; if you seek the name of their office, it is 'angel': from what they are, 'spirit', from what they do, 'angel'" (St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 103, 1, 15: PL 37, 1348). With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they "always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven" they are the "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word" (Mt 18:10; Ps 103:20).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ps 102, 27-28 You are the same, your years have no end

(Ps 102, 27-28) You are the same, your years have no end

[27] They perish, but you remain; they all wear out like a garment; Like clothing you change them and they are changed, [28] but you are the same, your years have no end.

(CCC 212) Over the centuries, Israel's faith was able to manifest and deepen realization of the riches contained in the revelation of the divine name. God is unique; there are no other gods besides him (Cf. Isa 44:6). He transcends the world and history. He made heaven and earth: "They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment... but you are the same, and your years have no end" (Ps 102:26-27). In God "there is no variation or shadow due to change" (Jas 1:17). God is "He who Is", from everlasting to everlasting, and as such remains ever faithful to himself and to his promises.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ps 96, 2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name

(Ps 96, 2) Sing to the LORD, bless his name

[2] Sing to the LORD, bless his name; announce his salvation day after day.

(CCC 2143) Among all the words of Revelation, there is one which is unique: the revealed name of God. God confides his name to those who believe in him; he reveals himself to them in his personal mystery. The gift of a name belongs to the order of trust and intimacy. "The Lord's name is holy." For this reason man must not abuse it. He must keep it in mind in silent, loving adoration. He will not introduce it into his own speech except to bless, praise, and glorify it (Cf. Zech 2:13; Ps 29:2; 96:2; 113:1-2).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ps 95, 9-10 There your ancestors tested me

(Ps 95, 9-10) There your ancestors tested me

[9] There your ancestors tested me; they tried me though they had seen my works. [10] Forty years I loathed that generation; I said: "This people's heart goes astray; they do not know my ways."

(CCC 2119) Tempting God consists in putting his goodness and almighty power to the test by word or deed. Thus Satan tried to induce Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple and, by this gesture, force God to act (Cf. Lk 4:9). Jesus opposed Satan with the word of God: "You shall not put the LORD your God to the test" (Deut 6:16). The challenge contained in such tempting of God wounds the respect and trust we owe our Creator and Lord. It always harbors doubt about his love, his providence, and his power (Cf. 1 Cor 10:9; Ex 17:2-7; Ps 95:9). (CCC 539) The evangelists indicate the salvific meaning of this mysterious event: Jesus is the new Adam who remained faithful just where the first Adam had given in to temptation. Jesus fulfills Israel's vocation perfectly: in contrast to those who had once provoked God during forty years in the desert, Christ reveals himself as God's Servant, totally obedient to the divine will. In this, Jesus is the devil's conqueror: he "binds the strong man" to take back his plunder (Cf. Ps 95:10; Mk 3:27). Jesus' victory over the tempter in the desert anticipates victory at the Passion, the supreme act of obedience of his filial love for the Father.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ps 95, 8 Do not harden your hearts

(Ps 95, 8) Do not harden your hearts

[8] Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah, as on the day of Massah in the desert.

(CCC 2659) We learn to pray at certain moments by hearing the Word of the Lord and sharing in his Paschal mystery, but his Spirit is offered us at all times, in the events of each day, to make prayer spring up from us. Jesus' teaching about praying to our Father is in the same vein as his teaching about providence (Cf. Mt 6:11, 34): time is in the Father's hands; it is in the present that we encounter him, not yesterday nor tomorrow, but today: "O that today you would hearken to his voice! Harden not your hearts" (Ps 95:7-8). (CCC 1165) When the Church celebrates the mystery of Christ, there is a word that marks her prayer: "Today!" - a word echoing the prayer her Lord taught her and the call of the Holy Spirit (Cf. Mt 6:11; Heb 3:7- 4:11; Ps 95:7). This "today" of the living God which man is called to enter is "the hour" of Jesus' Passover, which reaches across and underlies all history: Life extends over all beings and fills them with unlimited light; the Orient of orients pervades the universe, and he who was "before the daystar" and before the heavenly bodies, immortal and vast, the great Christ, shines over all beings more brightly than the sun. Therefore a day of long, eternal light is ushered in for us who believe in him, a day which is never blotted out: the mystical Passover (St. Hippolytus, De pasch. 1-2 SCh 27, 117).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ps 95, 1-6 Let us kneel before the LORD who made us

(Ps 95, 1-6) Let us kneel before the LORD who made us

[1] Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD; cry out to the rock of our salvation. [2] Let us greet him with a song of praise, joyfully sing out our psalms. [3] For the LORD is the great God, the great king over all gods, [4] Whose hand holds the depths of the earth; who owns the tops of the mountains. [5] The sea and dry land belong to God, who made them, formed them by hand. [6] Enter, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the LORD who made us.

(CCC 2628) Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us (Cf. Ps 95:1-6) and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the "King of Glory" (Ps 24, 9-10) respectful silence in the presence of the "ever greater" God (Cf. St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 62, 16: PL 36, 757-758). Adoration of the thrice-holy and sovereign God of love blends with humility and gives assurance to our supplications.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ps 91, 10-13 God commands the angels to guard you

(Ps 91, 10-13) God commands the angels to guard you

[10] No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent. [11] For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways. [12] With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone. [13] You shall tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon.

(CCC 336) From its beginning until death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession (Cf. Mt 18:10; Lk 16:22; Ps 34:7; 91:10-13; Job 33:23-24; Zech 1:12; Tob 12:12). "Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life" (St. Basil, Adv. Eunomium III, I: PG 29, 656B). Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ps 89, 49 What mortal can live and not see death?

(Ps 89, 49) What mortal can live and not see death?

[49] What mortal can live and not see death? Who can escape the power of Sheol?

(CCC 1007) Death is the end of earthly life. Our lives are measured by time, in the course of which we change, grow old and, as with all living beings on earth, death seems like the normal end of life. That aspect of death lends urgency to our lives: remembering our mortality helps us realize that we have only a limited time in which to bring our lives to fulfillment: Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth,… before the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Eccl 12:1, 7).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ps 88, 11-13 Are your marvels declared in the darkness?

(Ps 88, 11-13) Are your marvels declared in the darkness?

[11] Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the shades arise and praise you? [12] Is your love proclaimed in the grave, your fidelity in the tomb? [13] Are your marvels declared in the darkness, your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?

(CCC 633) Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God (Cf. Phil 2:10; Acts 2:24; Rev 1:18; Eph 4:9; Pss 6:6; 88:11-13). Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom" (Cf. Ps 89:49; 1 Sam 28:19; Ezek 32:17-32; Lk 16:22-26): "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Saviour in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell" (Roman Catechism 1, 6, 3). Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him (Cf. Council of Rome (745): DS 587; Benedict XII, Cum dudum (1341): DS 1011; Clement VI, Super quibusdam (1351): DS 1077; Council of Toledo IV (625): DS 485; Mt 27:52-53).

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ps 85, 11 Love and truth will meet

(Ps 85, 11) Love and truth will meet

[11] Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss

(CCC 214) God, "He who is", revealed himself to Israel as the one "abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Ex 34:6). These two terms express summarily the riches of the divine name. In all his works God displays, not only his kindness, goodness, grace and steadfast love, but also his trustworthiness, constancy, faithfulness and truth. "I give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness" (Ps 138:2; cf. Ps 85:11). He is the Truth, for "God is light and in him there is no darkness"; "God is love", as the apostle John teaches (1 Jn 1:5; 4:8).