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.
We explore Psalm 8 in this study both from the perspective of the psalmist musing on the greatest of God as revealed in His creation and yet having such concern and granting such exaltation to mankind and from the perspective of Christians awestruck at the wonder of what God is doing in Christianity through Jesus and the hypostatic union. We discussed the danger the power God wishes to give us poses and the need for conversion to be prepared to receive such power. We also look at some of the ways the New Testament writers used this psalm and saw it as prophetic.