My Light and My Salvation

Scripture Reading


The LORD is my light and my salvation;

whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?

One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. 

(Psalm 27:1,4,13-14)

 

Scripture Study

Tradition has handed down the two sections of the Psalm (Ps 27:1–6; 7–14) as one Psalm, though each part could be understood as complete in itself. Asserting boundless hope that God will bring rescue (Ps 27:1–3), the psalmist longs for the presence of God in the Temple, protection from all enemies (Ps 27:4–6). In part B there is a clear shift in tone (Ps 27:7–12); the climax of the poem comes with “I believe” (Ps 27:13), echoing “I trust” (Ps 27:3).[1]

Scripture Reflection

Psalm 27 is a favorite of many because it expresses the central impulse of biblical religion, trust in the LORD, in such eloquent and poignant words. In this it is like Psalm 23. It teaches what real trust is like, and it leads those who follow its lines in liturgy or meditation toward that trust.

Trust is active and real precisely when one is aware of one’s vulnerability, of one’s ultimate helplessness before the threats of life. Trust is possible for those who know the LORD as the savior of their life. Salvation is intervention that makes life possible in the face of all that threatens, weakens, and corrupts life.

In this psalm the opposite and counterpart of trust in the LORD is fear of human beings. They are dangerous because of what they do through language. By slander and lies they can place the self and life of the faithful in an environment of falsehood. The psalm is a refusal to let falsehood become the language world of existence. In its praise and prayer it evokes the reality in whose life faith chooses to live—the salvation of the LORD.

– James Mays

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

 

[1] Donald Senior, John J. Collins, and Mary Ann Getty, eds., The Catholic Study Bible, 2nd Ed.: Notes, 2nd ed., vol. 2 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 745.