Daily Readings Reflection for 5/15/10

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Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: May 15. Lectionary # 296. Acts 18:23-28. Psalm 47:2-3.8-9.10.
and John 16:23-28.

Faith, prayer, and love are themes within today’s Scripture–especially in
John as he nears the end of the final discourse of Jesus to his intimate
friends, the disciples.  The Psalms automatically lead us to prayer acting
like a window for us to take on the dispositions of those who prayed in the
past, and then like a mirror as we look at ourselves and how they effect us
today.  Such themes as faith, prayer, and love are repeated in John
throughout the second part of his Gospel–the Book of Glory (chapters
13-21).  Glory is the name we give them because Jesus is lifted up to the
Father and glorified as the eternal Word of God.  As we mentioned and saw,
this is all contained in the grand overture of the Gospel of John, the
Prologue (John 1:1-18).

Jesus encourages us to ask the Father for whatever our prayer leads us to
ask of him. We do this by invoking the Name of Jesus, which in biblical
parlance means his very Person. Prayer is quite personal and Jesus who
knows all things wants us to be his friends through this faith in Him which
we call prayer. Whether we offer a prayer of petition, praise, lamentation,
or thanksgiving we do so in the Name of Jesus.  It is a person to person
contact that leads us to greater intimacy with Jesus.  Praise and
thanksgiving also get us out of our own needs and help us to contemplate
the Person of God, Jesus, and the Spirit.  Sometimes we need to complain
and lament and this too is part of the person to person contact we call
prayer.

Our Psalms waft us right into prayer and they too are part of our
Scriptural reflection especially when we need more prayer than just
studying the text or listening to it in order to apply it to ourselves.  We
learn that there are at least fourteen different genres of psalms, but
these can easily be reduced to four. Petition or supplication, praise,
thanksgiving and lamentation (complaining to God, mourning, grieving).  The
Hebrew people felt the last category as their form of prayer for 89 out of
150 of the Psalms are lamentation types.  So some of us do cry out in anger
trying to wake up our God who does not seem to listen. Or we think we can
do a better job than God does!  This is all part of our prayer and it is
all right.  Of interest is the fact that scholars do have more types than
just the four and they may have struck upon a good number for the Psalms
since David’s name is equivalent to fourteen. It was he who traditionally
is known as the one who started singing psalms in many  of his daily
circumstances.

Today’s Psalm is one of praise. Psalm 47 gives the command to sing out
jubilantly. This polite invitation to sing out jubilantly occurs five times
and is the center piece of the psalm probably indicating the ceremony of
carrying the ark to the sanctuary and there sensing the presence of God
abiding above the mercy seat with the cherubim offering homage. Verse 9
reads, “God sits upon his throne.” Come, let us adore God.

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