Psalm 24: Your Face

Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Grant me, O Lord my God,
a mind to know you,
a heart to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
conduct pleasing to you,
faithful perseverance in waiting for you,
and a hope of finally embracing you. Amen.
– St. Thomas Aquinas

January 28, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 24 which expresses our longing to be in God’s Presence.

Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Psalm 24:6

Of course, we know that we are always in God’s Presence. What the prayer really asks for is to recognize that we are in God’s Presence and to feel that accompanying comfort.

Psalm 24 may have been written by David after he acquired the Temple Mount, intending for it to be sung at the dedication of the Temple by his son, Solomon. In verses 7 and 9, David instructs the gates of the Temple to open to receive God’s glory at that time. 

The complete psalm is divided into three parts which:

  1. acknowledge God as Supreme Creator and Lord of All

The earth is the LORD’s and all it holds

2. describe who may come into God’s Presence

Who may go up the mountain of the LORD?
Who can stand in his holy place?
The clean of hand and pure of heart,
who has not given his soul to useless things,
what is vain.

3. implore admission into that Presence

Lift up your heads, O gates;
be lifted, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may enter.

Psalm 24 presents a great pattern for our own prayer:

  • say “Hello” to God in greetings of praise and gratitude
  • talk to God about the disposition of our souls, asking to be transparent before God
  • express our deep desire to be always aware of and attuned to God’s Presence in our lives

With Psalm 24, we are asking God to bring us, every moment, into the joy of the Divine Presence. We are asking to be admitted to God’s “party of unending grace”. As I prayed the psalm, I couldn’t help hearing today’s song in my mind. I think it was received by God as a playful prayer to deepen our friendship, love, and joy.😉 (I think God likes to play sometimes too.)

Poetry: Letter to Lewis Smedes about God’s Presence – Rod Jellema

Dear Lew,
I have to look in cracks and crevices.
Don't tell me how God's mercy
is as wide as the ocean, as deep as the sea.
I already believe it, but that infinite prospect
gets farther away the more we mouth it.
I thank you for lamenting His absences —
from marriages going mad, from the deaths
of your son and mine, from the inescapable
terrors of history: Treblinka. Viet Nam.
September Eleven. It's hard to celebrate
His invisible Presence in the sacrament
while seeing His visible absence from the world.
This must be why mystics and poets record
the slender incursions of splintered light,
echoes, fragments, odd words and phrases
like flashes through darkened hallways.
These stabs remind me that the proud
and portly old church is really only
that cut green slip grafted into a tiny nick
that merciful God Himself slit into the stem
of His chosen Judah. The thin and tenuous
thread we hang by, so astonishing,
is the metaphor I need at the shoreline
of all those immeasurable oceans of love.
(Adapted from an e-mail discussion, summer 2002)

Music: Let Me In – The Sensations

Let me in whee-ooh (whee-ooh, whee-ooh, hoop-whee-ooh)
(Whee-ooh, whee-ooh, hoo-ooh-oop-whee-ooh, whee-ooh)
I can see the dancin’ (let me in)
The silhouettes on the shade
I hear the music (music), all the lovers on parade
Open up (let me in), I want to come in again
I thought you were my friend
Pitter patter of those fee-ee-ee-ee-eet
Movin’ and a-groovin’ with that be-eat
Jumpin’ and stompin on the flo-o-o-o-oor
(Lemme in) Let me in!
(Open up) Open up!
Why don’t you open up that door? (let me in)
I-uh (open up) hear music let me in (music)
I want to come in again
Let me in (let me in),
a-well I heard it just then
I thought you were my friend
Pitter patter of the fee-ee-ee-ee-eet
Movin’ and a-groovin’ with that be-eat
Jumpin’ and stompin on the flo-o-o-o-oor
(Lemme in) Let me in!
(Open up) Open up!
Why don’t you open up that door? (let me in)
I-uh-I-uh-I (open up) hear music, let me in (music)
Oh I heard it just then
Let me in (let me in)
I want to come in again
I thought you were my friend

3 thoughts on “Psalm 24: Your Face

  1. Sandra Straub, CSJ

    Renee, the recording, LET ME ME IN brought joy to my soul this morning. I appreciate your talent and skill as you weave meaning to psalms we so often hear and take for granted. But today the song you posted and connected to the reflection was priceless. Thank you. So often your insight refresh my reflection and I am grateful. Sandy, CSJ

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s