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  • P. Tarcisio

The Lord cares for those who fear Him. PSALM 33 (32)

1. TYPE OF PSALM: Hymn of praise.

It is one of the highest forms of all the types of psalms there is. Praise and joy spring from admiration for the great works of God in creation and in history. The hymn is completely centered on God and his works.

Hymns are generally made up of three parts: 1) Invitation to praise; 2) development of the reasons that justify the initial invitation; 3) conclusion, which may be another invitation to praise, or a manifest desire for what is expected from God.


Exult, you just, in the LORD; praise from the upright is fitting. Give thanks to the LORD on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.

Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.

See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine.

What does the text say?

vv.1-3. In the case of Psalm 33, the invitation is for the righteous to praise the Lord. They must sing, play, and accompany that praise with musical instruments.

vv. 4-15. In this Sunday's readings, only a few verses from this psalm were taken. One from the beginning, which is the main reason to praise God, "He loves justice and law and his love fills the whole earth" (v.5). And two at the end, where it is said that God does not disregard either creation, the work of his hands, or those who approach him (v.18). God's presence with his creatures occurs especially in difficult times, in danger of death and in times of famine (v.19).

The conclusion of the psalm ends with an affirmation on the part of those who sing this hymn: "The Lord is our hope, since we trust in Him" (vv.20-22).

In the verses that we did not read in the liturgy of this Sunday, the Lord is recognized as the creator of all things. A creator who did not make the universe and then abandon it to his fate, but accompanied him "from generation to generation" (v. 11). He cares about all human beings, knows each one, because he modeled each heart (vv. 13-15).

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

It may be worth emphasizing also verses 16 and 17, where he says that a king's victory does not depend on his army, nor on the strength of his soldiers and his horses, but on his trust in the Lord.

We too can be very confident in our own abilities and forget to ask for God's help. That is why this hymn is an invitation to recognize that we are creatures of God, that He knows us and helps us if we want and ask Him with sincere heart.

4. PRAY WITH THE WORD. What do you say to God? What have you received from Him?

"We look forward to the Lord,

He is our help and our shield;

In him we rejoice from the heart and in his holy name we trust.

May your love, Lord, accompany us, just as we expect from you. ”

Ps 33.20-22)

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

When we have a problem or a need, it makes us want to pray for God's help. But when things go well, when we lack nothing, sometimes we forget to give thanks for everything we have received.

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