After some comments on the Flame of Love devotion, our study of Psalm 146 starts with the psalmist's exuberant burst of praise which we explore in two directions, viz., in liturgy as the eternal loving work of God's people and the need to make use of the time we have on Earth according to Paul's admonition to "redeem the time." The latter led to a lengthy discussion about why our spiritual lives seem to become more arduous as we grow close to God.
We go on to examine the psalmist's comparison of relying upon man to relying upon God and dwell on how God is not only all powerful and eternal but faithful.
We began tonight's study with an outline of the rankings of liturgical days: Solemnities, Feasts, and Obligatory and Optional Memorials.
We continued with the burst of praise that is Psalm 113. We explained the meaning of the word Hallelujah and the reasons behind the different spellings and pronunciations. We looked at its cultural context amidst the return from the Babylonian exile and its praise of a God who is both transcendent and immanent. Finally, we discussed how a Jewish and Christian understanding of the reference the barren woman bringing forth children might be different.
We conclude with another explosion of praise — Psalm 147:12-20. We explain why the Divine Office starts in the middle of the psalm and its context around the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem with several references to the Book of Nehemiah. We end in appreciation of how what God is doing in Christianity is different than any other religion and how that is a source of our praise.
This evening's study introduces the Psalms, discusses Liturgy and communal prayer, and introduces the Liturgy of the Hours as an example of using the Psalms in communal prayer.
The first half of this study concludes our discussion of the Biblical basis of Purgatory. The second half answers a question about prayer and then continues our exploration of the book of Jonah.
We suggest you begin here:
Foundations of Bible Study