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quod pro nobis traditum est

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

at all times

I will bless the Lord at all times. (Benedicam Dóminum in omni témpore.)
Psalm 33/34

This passage, from the Introit, grabs my attention for its ideal approach. In context these are words of King David. Together with the following verses the thrust of these words is the continuous praise of God among the humble.

One natural reaction in hearing these words, even among the faithful, is to think of everything that is wrong in the world and in one's life or in one's day. It is difficult, if not impossible, to hold on to such an attitude of praise let alone carry out any continuous action of the same. This is the irony - that words that speak of praise of God may raise negative and sinful thoughts out of us.

The above reaction is natural and quick. Now, however, I am considering other thoughts around the words "at all times." It is somewhat common for people to remember that God is omnipresent, that He is everywhere, and that He is especially with us at all times. As He is not only omnipresent but also loving toward us it is not too much of a stretch to find rationale for being one with God - without the Church. We know God loves us and that He cares for us, that He is with us, and that our future is in His hands. Is this not what Jesus teaches us? With this picture, it is easy to let go of that which we may perceive or may be mis-taught as getting between God and us.

With polarization in society, the Church is not immune. But the church is not the Church without Christ who has created her and who sustains us in this world. If there is a center or a unity it only comes from Him. In Christ, the words of the psalmist come out in a new way. He promises, "I am with you always to the end of the age." The Son of Man is with us as the very God who we know is omnipresent. He is with us "at all times." That is the point. He is not only with us when we are viewing the mountains and the ocean or meditating on our own. He is with us, and is especially here for us as our righteousness, in church, in the liturgy of the holy Word and blessed Eucharist given to His humble people, those who seek God's mercy in faith.

Here King David is speaking for himself. He says, "I will bless ..." "His praise shall continually be in my mouth." But this is not just King David. It is not just about God and me. So he adds,

"Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together."

David's words remind us that "at all times" is not just every other time and place outside church. Good times or bad, I am part of a people who are also one with God in Christ. "At all times," even in church.

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