Psalm for the 2nd Sunday of Lent (C)

Psalm 27: 1, 7-9, 13-14

The responsorial psalm for this week is from Psalm 27. Tradition has handed down its two sections (v 1–6, v 7–14) as one psalm, though each part could be understood as complete in itself.

Asserting boundless hope that God will bring rescue (v 1–3), the psalmist longs for the presence of God in the temple and protection from all enemies (v 4–6). In the second section, there is a clear shift in tone (v 7–12); the climax of the poem comes with “I believe” (v 13).

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?

The psalm begins with the assertion, in the form of a soliloquy, emphasized in two questions, that the Lord is the psalmist’s salvation and refuge.

The words, “The Lord is my light…” can be read by Christians in connection with Jesus’ words, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Hear, O LORD, the sound of my call; have pity on me, and answer me. 

The psalmist’s entreaty, perhaps made in the temple, asks the Lord to hear him when he cries out to him.

Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks. Your presence, O LORD, I seek. Hide not your face from me; do not in anger repel your servant. You are my helper: cast me not off.

“In the most hidden place, where only you may hear it, my heart says to you: Lord, I seek your face, and I will continue in this search, without ever taking rest, so that I may love you freely, for I will never find anything more precious than you [your face]” (Saint Augustine, Enarrationes in Psalmos, 26, 8).

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living.

The risen Christ gives full meaning to the phrase “the land of the living,” for it is in heaven that the true sanctuary of God is to be found, and heaven is where we can forever see the face of the Lord.

Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.

The psalmist exhorts others to keep up their spirits in the midst of dangers and difficulties. Those that wait upon the Lord have reason to be of good courage.

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