Maranatha!

Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.

For the LORD is a great God,
and a great king above all gods;
In his hands are the depths of the earth,
and the tops of the mountains are his.
His is the sea, for he has made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
(Psalm 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7)

Scripture Study

Acknowledgment of God as king of the universe in Psalm 93, and as “our God” in Psalm 94:23, leads in Psalm 95 to an invitation to praise him on both scores. The voice of the Lord is heard by his people above the thunder of the waters (cf. Ps 93:3–4). The psalmist begins with an invitation to praise the Lord (vv. 1–2), for he is Lord of heaven and earth (vv. 3–5); then comes a new invitation to worship the Lord because he is the God of his people (vv. 6–7) and a warning that they must not let anything lead them away from him (vv. 7d–11). Christians praying this psalm are conscious of being members of the new people of God. They acknowledge the greatness of God the Creator, and also Christ’s lordship over the Church; this means that they are ready to listen to Christ’s voice (cf. Mt 17:5).

95:1–2. The invitation “O come” (vv. 1 and 6) might indicate that this was a pilgrimage psalm, although its main theme, the contemplation of God as King, can apply to any situation.
95:3–5. He is King over heavenly powers (“above all gods”: v. 3) and over every part of the earth.
95:6–7. He is King of the people that he created (“our Maker”) and whom he nourishes and guides as a shepherd does his flock (cf. Ps 23:1–2). The New Vulgate moves the last sentence in v. 7 to v. 8.[1]

Reflection

The readings today urge us to watch and pray as we await his coming again. The word “Maranatha” is an Aramaic word, which occurs in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians and was understood by the Christian Fathers as ‘The Lord has come’ but Its use by St Paul reflects the strong hope of the second coming of the Lord.[2]

Bishop Barron tells us that in one sense, Christianity is a religion of fulfillment (the Lord has come), but in another sense, it is a religion of waiting, for we expect the second coming of Jesus in the fullness of his power.

We wait and watch and keep vigil. And this is difficult. But what we all know is that great things take time. When a woman becomes pregnant, she has to wait nine long months before the baby is ready.

“How long does this analysis take?” a woman once asked Carl Jung. “Just as long as it takes,” came the answer. Gestation, growth. During any of these processes, the very worst thing one could do would be to pick at it, to force it, to make it operate according to his private timetable. So Jesus calls us to “be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength…to stand before the Son of Man.”[3]

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

 

 

 

[1] James Gavigan, Brian McCarthy, and Thomas McGovern, eds., Psalms and the Song of Solomon, The Navarre Bible (Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers, 2003), 320–321.
[2] F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford;  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 1038.
[3] Bishop Robert Barron, Word on Fire, November 26, 2016.