Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mary the Mother of our Lord - Psalm 34:1-9

Psalm 34:1-9
The preface of the Eucharistic liturgy begins with the words, “It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you…” It is a right and dutiful joy to give thanks without regard for current context, even though from our perspective some times and places prompt more praise than others. David wrote this psalm remembering a less than praiseworthy time when fleeing from Saul he had to feign insanity to escape Achish, (aka Abimelech) the king of Gath. (1 Samuel 21:10-15) David’s deliverance, albeit by deception, puts praise on his lips which presumably the afflicted hear and rejoice. It is not rejoicing for David’s sake, but for the sake of his witness to the LORD who delivered him from fear and saved “this poor man” out of all his troubles. The dutiful joy of giving thanks at all times and in all places is only possible for us when we believe (or maybe merely hope?) that “taste and see that the Lord is good” is true. We do this, not from the perspective of our current contexts, but because the meal both remembers Jesus who for us was stricken, smitten and afflicted, whose face shamed by agony bore our grief and our pain, and at the same time anticipates the day when with upturned faces we will reflect the glory of his resurrected radiance. The past and future meet in our present time and place when duty and joy is expressed in thanksgiving for the place of refuge, this meal, this Eucharist, this Jesus who is the Christ.

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