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What a beautiful universe you have given us Lord! PSALM 104 (103)


1. TYPE OF PSALM: Hymn of Praise

Psalm 103 is a hymn of praise to God as creator of the universe and Lord of life. All his work is perfect, grandiose, worthy of admiration. The hymn is completely centered on God. It is a psalm of joy, to sing and praise God.




2. READ THE WORD.

Psalm 104 (103), 1ab and 24ac. 29bc-30. 31 and 34

1Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

2 The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent

5He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. 6 You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; 8 they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them.

When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. 30 When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—

May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord. 35 But may sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.[b]

What does the text say?

Verse (v.) 1. The initial invitation is a reflection of the psalmist himself; because he has realized everything that surrounds him. So he invites his own being, his nephesh, to praise God.

In vv. 2-30 explains the reasons why we should all rejoice. Infinite is the greatness of the Lord and all creation has been made by him and is at his service. The sea, the wind, the fire, the clouds, the mountains obey him. He himself cares about the subsistence of all creation, men and animals depend on his hand.

Animals, plants, stars, everyone has a reason for being and everything has been perfectly ordered, the seasons of the year, the succession of days, the place of the waters, of the fertile land, of the mountains, of the fish and birds.

For all that our eyes see, “How many are your works Lord! How wisely did you make them! ” (v. 24) and the psalmist will not stop praising the Lord, as long as he has life. That will be their greatest joy.

However, in v. 35 a controversial phrase appears, the wicked, the criminals, are the only ones who put the disorder in this perfect creation, and that is why the psalmist wants them to disappear.

Despite all the bad that can exist, the good things will always be more numerous. So the psalmist insists again, and thus closes his song: "My soul praises and blesses the Lord."


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

Many of us have lost the ability to admire the nature around us. We are no longer able to admire the seas, the lakes, the mountains, the sunsets, the sunrise, the rain, the stars ... We forget that this planet is our home and we contribute to deteriorate many of those natural environments with pollution and the desire to have a more comfortable life.

Document "Laudato Si", in number 76 states: “In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the word “creation” has a broader meaning than “nature”, for it has to do with God’s loving plan in which every creature has its own value and significance. Nature is usually seen as a system which can be studied, understood and controlled, whereas creation can only be understood as a gift from the outstretched hand of the Father of all, and as a reality illuminated by the love which calls us together into universal communion.

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

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

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

Many bad things happen in our life and they make us sad, bitter and prevent us from being completely happy. Today's psalm invites us to also see the beauty of life, the authentic, not what appears to be. Nature and all of creation, wherever we look carefully, will never cease to amaze us, as long as we have not lost this beautiful capacity. Look at the mountains, the fields, the sea, the sky ... isn't everything that exists wonderful?

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