Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advent 4 C - Psalm 80:1-7

Psalm 80:1-7

The lectionary offers the option of using Mary’s song, “My soul magnifies the Lord..” in place of the psalm, but I think the lament of Psalm 80 helps put both the prophetic word of Micah and its fulfillment in Luke into the proper context; namely God’s response to all that leads one to lament. Lament is the question of the scriptures; “How long, O Lord, will the wicked prosper?” and the cry of the abandoned, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” And so it is for us when in days and nights of questioning, with tears for our bread, when scorned and derided by life’s circumstances, we cry out, how long, O Lord? But there is within lament’s question the anticipation of Mary’s song for “How long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?” believes there will be a day of restoration. That is what makes Mary’s song magnificent. She and all of Israel have waited for this day not in silence but in complaint and when the silent God who is always present finally speaks through the offspring of Mary’s womb the centuries of lamenting are forgotten in the infant’s cry. For the cry of Mary’s offspring on the cross will be God’s lament whereby we are saved.

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