Praise to God who is faithful – Vatican News

The Way of the Word: Psalm One Hundred and Forty-Fifth – A Contemplative Reading.

Psalm One Hundred and Forty-Fifth – A Reflection – Soundtrack

Monsignor Joji Vadakara, Vatican City

Psalm 145 is a psalm of praise for God who does not forsake his faithful ones. Yahweh is the King of Israel who has revealed Himself through history. He who shows more mercy and compassion to human beings who suffer from deficiencies, is the eternal protector of the needy and the poor. Like Psalms 9, 10, and 25, it is the last of the nine Psalms with verses beginning in the alphabetical order of the Hebrew language. Here again we see the style of early Judaism to describe the kingship and glory of the Lord before all. In this psalm, David also describes the faithfulness of the Lord that he experienced throughout his life. The Lord was faithful to His promises even in the face of human fallibility and evil. The Lord is near to those who call upon Him with sincerity of heart.

Praise God

In verses one through three of the Psalm, and in the last verse of the Psalm, David repeats his promise to praise the Lord God all the days of his life. A theme throughout the psalm is to thank God for his mercy. “I will praise You, my God and King; I will praise Your name forever” (v. 1). These are words from David’s personal conviction. That is why David writes about the Lord, “My God, and the King.” David, the king of Israel, calls God his king. The Lord is the King of kings and the ruler of all lands. The words “I will praise thee daily” (v. 2) show the closeness and depth of David’s heart’s love for God. It is desirable for His creatures, men, to praise God, who is worthy of praise and inaccessible to human thought.

Praise be to God

In verses four through seven of the Psalm, David records his conviction that God is worthy of praise. God’s entire universe invites every believer to praise God. It is natural that thoughts of praise should arise in the hearts of men who contemplate His great works. His goodness and justice are immeasurable. That is why David says, “Generation to generation shall praise thy works; they shall proclaim thy mighty deeds” (v. 4). As the generations of the people of Israel tell future generations about the Lord who has been experienced as a God of goodness and mercy in their history, the way is being prepared for them to be able to accept Yahweh in their lives and to experience His goodness. Rather than hearsay, David praises the God he has experienced in his own life. “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of your glory and on your wonderful works”. Words of praise that rise from conviction levels of realization have more meaning than hymns that rise from mere emotion.

Proclaim the glory of God

Through verses eight and nine, the psalmist is proclaiming the characteristics of the Lord’s personality. “The Lord is gracious and merciful, longsuffering and abounding in love” (v. 8). In the thirty-fourth chapter of the book of Exodus, the words God speaks about Himself to Moses on Mount Sinai are similar to these: “The Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Ex. 34, 6). God, as the creator of the whole universe, pours out his love and goodness to all men, while considering the people of Israel as his chosen people and forgiving their sins. That is what David writes in the ninth verse: “The Lord is good to all; He pours out his mercy on all his creation” (v. 9). God pours out his mercy on the entire universe with the appearance of a father or a mother who loves his children regardless of their shortcomings. Even sinful humans experience God’s mercy. By reminding the face of God’s mercy, David makes a call to return to his love through these verses.

The Kingdom of the Lord God

Through the ten verses of the Psalm, David describes God’s acts of mercy and glory, thereby glorifying the Lord’s kingship. The psalmist asserts that nations will sing praises to the Lord, the God of Israel, who will know his greatness and nearness. “And they shall tell the children of men of his mighty works, and of the glorious splendor of his kingdom. His kingdom is everlasting, and his dominion endureth to all generations; the Lord is faithful in promise, and merciful in deed” (vv. 12-13). From the time of the creation of the universe until now, Yahweh has revealed himself as the accompanying, protective God of his human creatures, especially the people he has chosen as his people. Even when the kingdoms of the earth cease, and the dominions end, the kingdom of God, the Lord of Israel, endures forever.

God’s greatness is revealed in His infinite mercy and faithfulness. “The Lord upholdeth them that fall; he raiseth up them that stand firm” (v. 14). He is a God who is compassionately close to all men, especially men who cry out for His help. David writes that “the Lord is near to those who call on him, to those who call on him with sincerity of heart” (v. 18), not only from the background of Israel’s history, but also in the light of his personal life experiences. God, who knows the weaknesses and failures of men, is patient in the face of the cry of their hearts. God will not disappoint those who, confessing their shortcomings with a pious heart, plead before Him for mercy. The psalmist reminds us in the 20th verse that God is merciful to those who love him, but is unyielding to the wicked. We find the last words from David in the last verse of the Psalm. “My mouth shall sing the praises of the Lord; let all living things bless his holy name forever!” (v. 21). These words can be confessed by every human being who is close to God and who is grateful for his love.

Let us also praise God

Summarizing the 145th Psalm, we, like David, can confess God’s infinite mercy and his unfailing faithfulness. In this world of broken promises and covenants, only God’s love and His promises remain without flaws. On many occasions in our lives, He has showered us with mercy even when we did not deserve it. In how many places has He kept us under the protection of His mighty arms! Let us lift our eyes to Him in moments when we feel fallen to the ground. May we also find refuge in the presence of God, who does not abandon his children who cry out with earnestness of heart. Let us love the Lord and confess His goodness and love to us and to the whole universe with David. May our lives also be blessed by the grace of a merciful God who is faithful in His promises.

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