Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man;
from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth,
he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.
The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
Reflection – Our Monday Psalter has brought us to a happy place where the psalm we have reached is most suitable to the liturgical season we are in. I would have hated to have to write about a psalm of lamentation or great distress when the Church’s liturgy is calling us to rejoice in the Lord’s victory.
Well, here we are, and here is God’s victory. I haven’t written about Easter yet, except for the news roundup of how we did it in MH this year. It is good to reflect on it from this angle of Psalm 33. I especially like the part ‘he frustrates the plans of the people. The counsel of the Lord stands forever.’
The human plan for God was to kill Him and be done with Him forever—to be able to write our own story, make our own way, be saved in the way we chose to be saved, decide for ourselves what is what and what will be.
This is the human plan, although we usually dress it up under a hundred fair-looking costumes. Our plan is ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ God’s plan is a simple one: ‘Christ is risen from the dead, trampling on death by death, and on those in the tombs lavishing life.’
And this is the victory of God over the world and over you and me—not a victory that destroys us, but certainly a victory that destroys our rebellion against Him, our self-willed autonomy and self-determination.
We are not self-determined, which really means self-limited, self-defining, self-enclosed. God bursts forth from the tomb, and God bursts forth from the tomb of our human smallness, the ‘place of the skull’ which we all carry around just above our silly necks. God was put to death in that place, but He rises and in rising shatters the limitations of human ideas and plans and purposes.
And the rapturous praise, the delight, the joy, the singing with ten-stringed harp—all of that good stuff is the only thing we can do, the only fit response we can have to this victory of God in the world. So—and I do realize this is a very simple and obvious word for the Easter season—let us remember to praise God this day, this week, these next weeks of the year until Pentecost wraps up the Paschal time, and beyond that to eternity. Alleluia.