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(Part 26)


November 21, 2009

Many verses in the Bible, especially the psalms, speak about our theme for 2010 and its various aspects. I suppose it is simply because the aspects of our theme speak about the basic truths about our faith. But it is delightful when we see the different aspects of our theme coming together in one passage (of several verses).

Once again, we look to today’s reading (Psalm 9:2-19). In particular we look at verses 8 to 11.

The Almighty God. “The Lord rules forever, has set up a throne for judgment.” (v.8). The Lord is King over all, and awesome is He in His majesty. He is the Creator of the whole universe, and judgment over all belongs to Him.

Justice and righteousness. Our God is just and righteous. “It is God who governs the world with justice” (v.9a, NAB[1]). It is he who “judges the world with righteousness” (v.9a, RSV[2]).

Redemptive suffering. “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” (v.10). The just and righteous who are afflicted can expect to be helped and saved by God. This is our confidence: “you never forsake those who seek you, Lord.” (v.11b).

Because of all the above, we can trust in God.[3] “Those who honor your name trust in you” (v.11a).

If we trust in God, then we will always have hope.[4] “The needy will never be forgotten, nor will the hope of the afflicted ever fade.” (v.19).

If we have hope, then we will always have joy.[5] “I will delight and rejoice in you” (v.3a). Whatever happens in life, whatever we suffer through, we know that God is there. In fact, it is precisely in our suffering that God disciplines, guides and purifies us. Suffering, the way of the cross, is our path to becoming righteous and just. For all these, we truly can rejoice.

God gives us hope, joy and trust, and for these we should be grateful. God calls us to be just and righteous, and for that we need to turn to Him. God is the Almighty, and for that we simply need to acknowledge Him and humbly enthrone Him in our lives.

As such, our proper posture, as creatures to the Creator, as sinners to the Holy One, as the lost that have been saved by the Savior, as slaves of the Master, is worship. “I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will sing hymns to your name, Most High.” (v.2a,3b).

Further, as those who have experienced salvation and renewal, as those who are called to be God’s instruments for the world, we must evangelize. “I will declare all your wondrous deeds.” (v.2b).

Worship and evangelization. Such describe who we are, as God’s people, and what we do, as God’s co-workers. Such is what leads us to righteousness and justice. We worship in God’s holy presence, and so we grow in holiness. We go forth into the world to proclaim Jesus, and so we do justice to others, by giving them what is their due--the salvation won by Jesus for them.

God’s blessings for us: hope, joy, trust. Our proper response: worship and evangelization. “Sing hymns to the Lord enthroned on Zion; proclaim God’s deeds among the nations!” (v.12).

[1] New American Bible.
[2] Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.
[3] Our theme for this year 2009.
[4] Our theme for 2007.
[5] Our theme for 2008.

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