Psalm 27: 1, 4, 13-14
The responsorial psalm for this week is from Psalm 27, a heartfelt expression of trust and confidence in God’s protection and guidance.
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 two questions, in the form of a soliloquy. God is portrayed through the powerful metaphors of light, salvation, and refuge. All three depict God as a source of unmatched power and actively using that power on behalf of the psalmist.
For the Christian, “The Lord is my light…” calls to mind 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).
One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
This desire to dwell in the house of the LORD may refer to literally living in the temple, but it’s more likely a prayer for intimacy with God. The psalmist longs to perceive God’s enduring presence, the way one might feel the presence of another by residing in their home.
that I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple.
Basking in the divine presence would inspire a contemplative attitude, leading the psalmist to continually delight in the glory of God.
Hear, O Lord, the sound of my call;
This invocation (“Hear, O Lord”) is the same one used in Israel’s foremost prayer, the Shema (“Hear, O Israel”). The Hebrew verb shema means “hear” or “listen”, but also carries the connotation of responding favorably.
have pity on me, and answer me.
The request to be heard is reiterated in this plea for pity. The Hebrew verb for “answer me” is hānan, which describes a heartfelt response to another in their time of need.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
The use of hānan may suggest a plea for material assistance, but what the psalmist truly desires is the presence of God.