Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God
Through the Prayers of the Church
This online supplemental material coordinates with the lesson that can be found on pages 68–71 of Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church. The study is based on The Revised Grail Psalms, the English translation of the Psalms approved by the Church for liturgical use. In addition to differences in wording of the biblical texts, other translations also may vary in the way that they number some Psalms and verses.
welcome to our study of the Book of the Psalms
We invite groups and individuals doing this 28-lesson Turning to God’s Word Catholic Bible study to take advantage of our supplemental online study pages. Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church has been granted an imprimatur and can be purchased from our website shop. If you have a question for the author, click on the “ask us your question” button on our supplemental pages.
God’s oath has placed his Word at the heart of our faith
In Psalm 110:4, the Psalmist announces that the LORD has taken an oath and will not go back on his word. Tami Palladino’s illustration depicts the mystery of God making such a promise. Our faith is built on understanding that—for reasons beyond comprehension—the Creator of the universe has chosen to bind himself in relationship with humanity. Even though Psalm 110 spells out what it is that God has solemnly vowed, we take for granted the full impact of the eternal consequences. God has given us his Word. Long before the birth of Jesus Christ, the Psalmist foretold the significance of the Incarnation—God’s Son is an eternal priest. Click on the image to enlarge Tami’s illustration, which appears on page 69 of Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church.
WHAT DO YOU THINK about God’s oath?
Even in our own day, sworn oaths remain an extremely serious way for people to enter into binding agreements.
? What are some important oaths that are common in our present-day culture?
? Can you think of any sworn oaths that people regularly break?
? What does the fact that God’s sworn oath is eternal mean to Christians?
? What responsibilities do you as a Christian have in upholding humanity’s end of God’s agreement made thousands of years ago?
? What are the consequences if humanity fails to uphold our end of the bargain?
? What’s in it for us if we do uphold our end of the agreement with God?
the popes inspire us—God shares in our lowliness & poverty
Take a few minutes to read “The LORD Stoops” on page 70 of Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church. In this general audience, Pope St. John Paul II shares his reflections about what he considers the greatest honor that God bestows on the poor—loving concern for those who are needy and suffering. God goes so far as to become one with us in our humanity.
you could look it up—an eternal covenant
In biblical times, covenant had a somewhat different meaning than it does now. To consider how Old Testament covenants influenced understanding of the new covenant instituted by Jesus, read Lost in Translation, an online column in which Turning to God’s Word author Matthew Phelps helps readers connect with ancient ideas expressed in the original Scriptures. New entries are posted on Tuesdays. If you’d like to receive Matthew’s comments about biblical languages by email each week, there’s a sign-up form next to the searchable archives.
a related Bible study—speaking of covenants
All of Scripture seems written for the purpose of explaining the covenant relationship between God and humanity. Adam and Eve are the first who fail to live up to humanity’s end of the deal, but they are by no means the last. Left to our own devices, men and women are unable to live within the confines of God’s law. The Old Testament deals with the very basic terms of the original covenant—sin equals death—that condemn humanity. The New Testament deals with the new covenant. The original covenant still exists, but the willing death of an innocent person—Jesus—satisfies the terms and puts the possibility of eternal life within reach of all sinners. The Letter to the Hebrews explains how this works. Our 23-week study, The Letter to the Hebrews: An Explanation of the Mechanism of Our Salvation, has been granted an imprimatur and can be purchased from our website shop.
close with a Psalms-based prayer for Sunday 2nd Vespers (Week II)
Many of our Catholic study groups like to conclude their discussions with a prayer based on the scriptural focus of their lesson. If you’re uncomfortable composing your own Bible-based prayers, you can follow our four easy steps. If you prefer, you can pray any of the Psalms in this lesson, or you can use the following short prayer.
O God, you exist outside of time and space,
and long ago you determined a plan that would open
the door of salvation for your people.
Teach us to trust the mysteries of our faith
and to hope in the salvation they promise,
in order that we might follow your Son’s new commandment
to love others as he has loved us.
Grant that we may use all the occasions of our life to praise you.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
start a Turning to God’s Word Bible study
Thank you for your interest in Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church. A wealth of information about beginning a Turning to God’s Word individual or group Bible study can be found on this website at start a Bible study. Tami, Matthew, and I are available to answer your questions about Turning to God’s Word and to offer support. You may use this email to contact us directly. —Jennifer