We begin tonight's study with a discussion of the Ordinary, Proper, and Common regarding Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours as well as a discussion of Solemnities, Feasts, Memorials, and Optional Memorials. We proceed to explore the Benedictus, the Canticle of Zechariah as part of the Ordinary of the Liturgy of the Hours including its historical setting, powerful Old Testament references, and images of light, darkness, and peace.
The second half proceeds to Psalm 57 which we will use when we pray the Morning Office from Thursday week I. We show the possible connection to David's early flight from Saul and the treachery of Doeg and David's trust in God's deliverance. We touch upon the constant spiritual threat to our lives.
In the first half of tonight's study, we examine the historical and cultural setting of God's promise to gather and prosper Israel in Jer 31:10-14. We chose this particular section of scripture because it is the second psalm in the Morning Office of the first Thursday of the four week Psalter. The first half concludes with a discussion of sections of scripture that can make us uncomfortable about God such as killing 185,000 Assyrians as they are getting ready to attack Jerusalem.
The second half continues this discussion and branches into questions about who are Christians and the necessity of the organized Church.
Tonight's study examined Psalm 48 as a response to God's miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem from the overwhelmingly superior Assyrian army. We spent some time addressing how God's perspective on physical life and death may be different from ours as well as the different understandings of love and hate between Hebrew and Christian thought. We touch briefly upon the geography of Jerusalem and some of the common metaphors used in this psalm.
In the unrecorded second half, we prayed the Thursday Morning Office from the 13th week of Ordinary Time.
We introduced the extraordinary acrostic Psalm 119 tonight and explored verses 17-24 as they are part of the Thursday Week I Daytime Office. We explored the psalmist's prayer to have their eyes opened to see the wonders of God's law and how our eyes are opened. We discussed the concept of being a sojourner in this world and made some cross references to the Beatitudes.
We then began our exposition of Psalm 25. We noted that it addressed major themes of prayer such as recollection and contemplation. We looked at issues of justice and persecution and examples of Satan as our accuser. We cited the need to always ask for our eyes to be opened to see what we do not see and explored the connection between God being good and His showing sinners the way.