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July 7, 2018 - Inspired and Inspirational

Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

Do you ever ignore the Psalms? Maybe in Mass you use that time to whisper a pressing thought to your spouse. Maybe as you read the daily Mass readings you think, "So there is the Psalm and next is the Gospel." For the books musical quality we can ironically tune them out. At least I can.

I think we are tempted to tune them out because there is great richness there for us. As a church we proclaim the Psalms more consistently than the Gospels! The entire practice of the Liturgy of the Hours is based on praying through the Psalms throughout our day (along with some other poetic sections of Scripture). Couple that with our proclamation of the Psalms at every Mass and one can easily see that the the Church sets forth an example greatly exalting the Psalms. Yet as I sat with today's readings I almost didn't even consider them. This is dangerous for Jesus certainly knew them, since he quoted them. What is in there that is so worthwhile that we are tempted to dismiss them and yet Christ and the Church turn their eyes toward them.

In the Psalms we find a promise. A radical promise. A promise that shatters so much of what our world struggles with in our perceptions and conceptions of God. It is a promise that God knows our hearts, in their sin, jubilation, suffering, and longing. That in the midst of all these, he loves us deeply. In the Psalms, we have the inspired Word of God and the inspiring words of Psalmist meeting a way that promises, "I know your heart."

The Lord knows what we seek as we see in Psalm 85. We want peace and justice, truth and kindness. We want things that the world claims can't be had simultaneously. God promises they can be.

This week, especially tomorrow at Mass, follow the opening words of today's Psalm and "hear what God proclaims" through this powerful book of Scripture.

- Spencer Hargadon