Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
July 13, 2020
I have no past reflection on today’s readings since in 2016 they came on the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and in 2018 on the Feast of St. Benedict – both of whom I chose to highlight on those days. So here is a reflection from the Creighton University archives:
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray again with Psalm 50. Today’s passage is what I call the “empty words” section where God leaves no doubt about what does and does not please him.
Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?
We all know people who talk a good game about religion but they’re mean, selfish, and miserable to be around (present company excluded of course 🙄) And we all know people who actually distort religion to promote themselves while debasing and marginalizing others.
In Psalm 50, God says, “Cut it out!”. God doesn’t want burnt offerings or empty words. God wants “a sacrifice of praise”. So what exactly might that mean?
Walter Brueggemann, in talking about the similar Psalm 51, describes a sacrifice of praise like this:
It must be an intimate, yielding act of trustful submission of “spirit and heart,” not “sacrifice and burnt offerings”. The speaker (psalmist), now situated in glad praise, can imagine an intimacy and communion in which contact between God and self is available and in which the distinction between the two parties is clear and acknowledged—God in splendor, the self in “brokenness”.
When we pray from a humble understanding such as Bruggemann describes, our souls open to God’s love for us and for all Creation. We move from being the center of an insecure, self-absorbed universe to seeing ourselves in inextricable communion with all Life whose Center and Source is Love itself.
The one that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to the one who goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.
Poetry: one of mine today.
is the place
where I am lost
without sound, with nothing
but my awed
Music: Alvin Slaughter – Sacrifice of Praise
Lord I lift a song of worship For Your glory and Your grace Let my heart reveal all my words fail to say Lord receive this sacrifice of praise (Repeat) On the mountains, in the valley As I wait in my secret place I will trust,trust in the name of the Lord Now receive this sacrifice of praise Now receive this sacrifice of praise You're my shield You're my shelter From the storm and from the rain Cover me beneath the shadow of Your wings Lord receive this sacrifice of praise Hallelujah hallelujah Hallelujah to Your name For all You've done You are and evermore will be Lord receive this sacrifice of praise Lord receive this sacrifice of praise Lord receive this sacrifice of praise Of praise Of praise----