Praying With the Synod: Psalm 128:1-4

I had it in mind to post daily some suggestion on the synod in Rome convening this week and next. I missed yesterday. I suppose we can read the pope’s homilies and statements for the opening of the meeting. Y’all know where to find that, right?

Maybe I’ll remember to post daily on this. It’s important enough to pray daily for the bishops and others meeting. I suppose I could grumble about the need for more family people to be part of the conversation. I notice others bothered that there’s so much “secrecy” about who is talking and when.

Maybe it’s good to remember …

How good to revere the Lord,
to walk in God’s path.

This opening of Psalm 128 sets the stage. We identify in families, perhaps. Or as a family of clerical brothers. But in all walks of life, we revere God and hope we walk on God’s path. This is one of the Songs of Ascents, a set of pilgrimage texts for people on their way to Jerusalem. Jesus walked that way, of course, in religious devotion with Joseph and Mary.

God has a promise:

Your table rich from labor–
how good for you!
Your beloved, a fruitful vine
in the warmth of your home.

Live olive shoots,
children surround your table.
This is your blessing
when you revere the Lord.

olive treeAs we ponder the state of the family, do we see it as something of a reward for making a good choice of a wife or husband? And the children to which some of us feel entitled? Are we all aware that maintaining a family is hard work. It is hard work that leads to richness, fruitfulness, and warmth. Not a sense of entitlement.

When a friend married twenty-five years ago, she and her fiancé titled their wedding program “Love is a choice.” Wise words. And they are meaningful in the sense that the choice of love involves a choice to work. And sometimes work hard. And sometimes work in difficulty when it seems one is working alone.

Verse 4 of the psalm brings it back to God. Know a blessing when we revere the Lord. Reverence is not just bowing and scraping in the right temple. It is also practicing reverence with people who themselves are the temple of God. Blessings are a natural consequence of hard work, faithfulness, and keeping our commitments.

My prayer today is that the bishops will work hard at the synod, and that they will revere God in his temple and in his many other temples.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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