Let us go rejoicing!

Sagrada_Familia_1

One of my greatest memories was my pilgrimage in Madrid to see the Sagrada Familia! This calls to mind the psalm for the First Sunday of Advent!

PS 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

I rejoiced because they said to me,

“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”

And now we have set foot

within your gates, O Jerusalem.

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Jerusalem, built as a city

with compact unity.

To it the tribes go up,

the tribes of the LORD.

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

According to the decree for Israel,

to give thanks to the name of the LORD.

In it are set up judgment seats,

seats for the house of David

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

May those who love you prosper!

May peace be within your walls,

prosperity in your buildings.

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Because of my brothers and friends

I will say, “Peace be within you!”

Because of the house of the LORD, our God,

I will pray for your good.

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Psalm 122 is a Song of Zion, celebrating the city of Jerusalem as an architectural wonder. Other Songs of Zion (Pss 46, 48, 76) see the city of Jerusalem as a site of victory and a towering mountain, while Psalm 122 sees the city as a goal of pilgrimage and a place of prayer.

This psalm is associated as a Psalm of Ascent, psalms prayed as one ascends the steps of the temple (Pss 124, 131, 133) and uses key words such as Jerusalem, tribes, thrones, peace, for the sake of

The singer of this psalm anticipates joining the procession into the city in which there annual pilgrimage feasts were observed: Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles. Jerusalem is the place of encounter where people meet and praise God. The temple itself evokes a place where people are transformed.

(v.3) The compact walls of the temple suggests the density of the building and the dense population.

(v. 5) In the Jerusalem temple, we find the divine justice of God. “thrones for judgement” on which the judges sit. Legal process was carried out by the Davidic king who exercised his divine authority. To use the word thrones as plural was to address the majesty of God.

(v. 6-9) Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The verses suggests that one has been to Jerusalem, seen the joyful worship, celebrated with their fellow Israelites, seen the majesty of the king, and now prays that Jerusalem be sustained. Peace is not understood as the absence of war. Rather, in v. 6, peace is the flourishing and prosperity of all who love the holy city.

(v. 7) the walls speak of the security needed for this peace. Authentic worship for the people of Israel included the whole family of God from every distinct tribe of many generations. It includes the judgement of the Davidic king, ruling under the authority of God whose words shape and transform their lives.

 SO WHAT’S THE POINT? This season of Advent is our pilgrimage to the Holy Jerusalem.  Psalm 122 reminds us that our worship to God is rooted in such a deep history, all the way back to the people of Israel who journeyed to worship God in the temple. We must be attentive to our own worship as our ancestors practiced long ago. The Opening Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent states that we have “the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming.” The prayer points to a determined journey to meet Christ. As the Israelites looked to the Davidic king, do we look to the priest as he preaches the Word and presides at Eucharist? We are called to an attentiveness to our worship which transforms us in the proclamation and preaching of the Word and in the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries. We leave the temple and as we are sent, we pray for the peace of the church, so that the Body of Christ may increase.

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About TheAspiringCatholic

Welcome and thank you for visiting this page! You’ll find my personal reflections on Christian Discipleship, insights on my adventures throughout the world, one day at a time, and musing everything Catholic and musical with a cup of coffee each morning.
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