Tuesday, March 20, 2012

an acceptable sacrifice

Notes on the psalm for the Fifth Sunday of Lent.

Of today's responsorial psalm, Psalm 51:2-23, Daniel N. Schowalter writes:

Coming at the end of Lent, this responsive reading from Psalm 51 offers a multitude of images that unite the modern Christian with the ancient people of Israel.  It also makes a connection back to the beginning of Lent, since this is one of the choices for responsive reading on Ash Wednesday.  Just as the congregation pauses at the beginning of Lent to ask for cleansing as we enter this time of reflection and growth, we do so once again as we face the prospect of Holy Week followed by Easter. We ask to be washed [cleansed of our sins], we confess our transgressions, we recognize our sinful nature, we look for joy and gladness, and we ask God for a clean heart with the words of Jeremiah's new covenant [Jeremiah 31:31-34] still ringing in our ears. Help us to find a sacrifice that is acceptable, and prepare us for the re-establishment of the Holy City. 
Rast, Harold W., ed. New Proclamation, Year B, 2005-2006, Advent Through Holy Week. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005. 194.

2012 March 25
Fifth Sunday in Lent


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