Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Psalm 33, 2-3.11-12.20-21

2 Praise the Lord with the lyre;
  make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.

3 Sing to him a new song;
  play skilfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

11 The counsel of the Lord stands for ever,
  the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

12 Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,
  the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
  he is our help and shield.

21 Our heart is glad in him,
  because we trust in his holy name.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This psalm, defined as a “song of praise and thanksgiving,” is composed of twenty-two verses, the same number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet, as if to say that we need to praise the Lord always, from the beginning to the end, from A to Z. The liturgy has us read several of these verses. From the very beginning, the psalmist invites us to sing a new song to the Lord: “Make melody to the Lord with the harp of ten strings. Sing to him a new song” (v. 2-3). Why this “new” song? Because “the Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all humankind. From where he sits enthroned, he watches all the inhabitants of the earth” (v. 13-14). It is as if the psalmist wants to proclaim: God sees all the inhabitants of the earth, looking down upon them, but not as an implacable judge ready to pass sentence and condemn. No, the Lord of heaven and earth is like a Father who looks at his children and protects them, in order to save them from evil and oppression. This is the mystery of Christmas that we are preparing to celebrate. And we can feel the profound nature of the words of John’s Gospel: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). This news is Gospel: it brings joy to the heart and makes us sing a “new song.” Yes, the believer can sing because the Word of the Lord is upright and faithful, and it never abandons us. The Word of the Lord is effective because it creates as it is spoken, and it is strong because it makes the earth stand firm: “He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses” (v. 7). The Word of the Lord is powerful, and it frustrates the plans of the arrogant people of the nations. Upon this Word is founded the faith of the believers of yesterday and today. This faith fills believers with hope, giving them the strength to oppose evil and the ability to transform the world on the path of justice and love.