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  • Fr. Tarcisio

BIBLE STUDY. PSALM 63 (62) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

1. TYPE OF PSALM: Psalm of supplication and trust.

This psalm is the prayer of an exile from Jerusalem and far from the temple, who remembers with longing the happy days when he contemplated God in the sanctuary, seeing his strength and glory.

2. READ THE WORD.

Psalm 63 (62)

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.

9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. 10 They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.

11 But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

What does the text say?

The first two verses of the psalm are centered on the symbols of thirst and hunger. In the same way that the arid land is dead, until the rain waters it, and because of its cracks it looks like a thirsty and dry mouth, so the faithful yearn for God to be satiated by him and to be able to be in communion with him.

vv. 5-6. In these verses, the psalmist expresses his hope to once again participate in the assembly in the sanctuary of the Lord. The songs, prayers and praises are accompanied by the raising of the hands. There is also reference to being satisfied with the sacrificial offerings presented in the Temple in Jerusalem. There is a physical hunger that must be satiated, but there is also a spiritual hunger that we need to feed in our life.

vv. 7-9. Despite the importance of the sanctuary, the psalmist is aware that the relationship with God is permanent, at any time and in any place, that is why he says: “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help,… ” The believer's relationship with God is a source of joy and great confidence in his protection.

vv. 10-12. The last verses seem like a prayer of vengeance against enemies, against those who seek to do harm. They will receive the punishment for their wrongdoing. Then, when God's justice is carried out, the king will rejoice again with all those who remained faithful, despite adversity.

3. MEDITATE ON THE WORD. Does this reading say anything special to you?

This psalm reminds us how important it is to satisfy our hunger and thirst physically, as it is to nourish our hunger and thirst spiritually. Especially in difficult times, when we miss attending the house of God. But it also reminds us that our relationship with God is not limited to one time and one place. He also invites us to leave in the hands of God the punishment that all those who commit evil deserve.

4. PRAY WITH THE WORD. What do you say to God?

I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name, I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.

5. CONTEMPLATE THE WORD. How does your look change?

Despite the dark nights and the dryness, we remain anchored and united to God: "My soul is united to You", "Without Me you cannot do anything." We too, although perhaps today we find ourselves like dry land, thirsty, without water, we contemplate the strength and glory of God. Let us lift up our hands and our voices in prayer and praise to God, who never leaves us alone.

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