Saturday, July 31, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 67 which calls on God to bless all people.
O God, be merciful to us and bless us,Psalm 67: 1-2
show us the light of your countenance and come to us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
This psalm is notable for its inclusiveness of nations outside of Israel. Most psalms focus inwardly on Israel’s needs, hopes and memories. But Psalm 67 calls on God to gather and bless universally:
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
For this reason, Psalm 67 has been called “the missionary psalm”, and is such a fitting prayer on this feast of St. Ignatius who founded a community which has carried the faith throughout the world.
Our final verses today point back to our first reading from Leviticus. While the math and calendar counting could get me pretty mixed up, the message is clear. It is a Jubilee message:
- Take a good look at your life and the harvest of your years.
- Be grateful.
- Be just.
- Bring others into your bounty because it all belongs to God, not you.
When we do these things, Psalm 67 becomes our prayer:
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide all the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has brought forth its increase;
may you, O God our God, bless us.
May you bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe of you.
Poetry: This Is My Song by Lloyd Stone and Georgia Harkness
This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine;
this is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine:
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine:
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.
May truth and freedom come to every nation;
may peace abound where strife has raged so long;
that each may seek to love and build together,
a world united, righting every wrong;
a world united in its love for freedom,
proclaiming peace together in one song.
Music: Finlandia, Opus 26
The above poem is sung to the tune of the final hymn in this work by Jean Sibelius. I think you will enjoy this beautiful video, especially the young ducks about midway through. Be sure to click the little arrowhead under the right side of the video to read the great history of this musical composition.