Thursday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time [II]

Thursday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time [II]
1 Peter 2:2-5,9-12  +  Mark 10:46-52
May 26, 2016

“Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands.” [Psalm 100:1]

“You listened to this psalm when it was being sung, brothers and sisters.  … let us examine it very carefully to find out what it is so clearly trumpeting and, insofar as the Lord enables us, how its call is to be spiritually understood.  Whatever instrument God’s voice employs, God’s voice it is still.  Nothing but His own voice sounds sweetly in His ears.  When we speak we delight Him, as long as He speaks through us.”

That’s from the first section of Saint Augustine’s exposition of Psalm 100, from which today’s Responsorial Psalm comes.  This exposition is important for us because Psalm 100 is one of the four invitatory psalms of our breviary.  These four psalms—Psalms 95, 100, 67 and 24—invite the Church to prayer at the beginning of each day.

As many who pray the breviary rotate during the liturgical year through these four invitatory psalms, we need to ponder these four psalms especially.  But each of these four psalms can also be recommended as a brief morning prayer for laypersons who believe they don’t have time to pray Lauds.

“Come before [the Lord] with joyful song.”  What song should we sing when we pray?  You may have had someone tell you of their struggles with prayer, saying:  “I don’t know what to say when I pray.”  This is when we ought to recommend the praying of Sacred Scripture, and especially the psalms.  In his exposition of Psalm 30, St. Augustine observes that “If the psalm prays, you pray; if it laments, you lament; if it exults, you rejoice; if it hopes, you hope; if it fears, you fear.   Everything written here is a mirror for us.”[1]

[1] St. Augustine of Hippo, Exposition 4 of Psalm 30, 1.