Psalm for the 6th Sunday of Easter (A)

Psalm 66: 1-7, 16, 20

Our responsorial psalm for this week comes from Psalm 66, a psalm that summons the people to praise God.

Shout joyfully to God, all the earth, sing praise to the glory of his name; proclaim his glorious praise. Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds! Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you, sing praise to your name!”

The summons is universal: all on earth are called to praise.

The focus of that praise is the name of God, which in the Hebrew tradition carries the very essence of God himself.

Come and see the works of God, his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam. He has changed the sea into dry land; through the river they passed on foot; therefore let us rejoice in him. He rules by his might forever.

The reason for giving glory to God is the wonderful feats he has wrought, specifically, the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14-15) and the crossing of the Jordon on dry ground into the Promised Land forty years later (Joshua 3:7-17).

These miraculous water-crossings are amazing feats in themselves, but they also serve as important milestones in Israel’s history. In the time between these events, God transformed a group of slaves into a nation of his chosen people.

Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare what he has done for me. Blessed be God who refused me not my prayer or his kindness!

The initial communal focus of this psalm has given way to an individual perspective. Perhaps the psalmist has benefitted from the blessings bestowed on the nations, or maybe he has received some particular individual blessing.

Either way, the psalmist invites everyone to join in his grateful praise of God.

“When the soul recalls the gifts he has received from God over a long time, and contemplates the graces that God gives him in abundance in the present, or turns his eyes to the future and the infinite reward that God has stored up for those who love him, he gives thanks in the midst of inexpressible waves of joy” (Cassian, Collationes, 9).

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