The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Archive for January 25th, 2007


Posted by Dim Bulb on January 25, 2007

Often the Church has been called the building of God(1 Cor 3:9). TheLord Himself compared Himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the cornerstone (Mt 21:42; see also Act 4:11; 1 Pet 2:7; Psalm 117:22). On this foundation the Church is built by the apostles (1 Cor 3:11), and from it the Church Receives durability and consolidation. This edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God (1 Tim 3:15) in which dwells his family; The household of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:19-22); the dwelling place of God among men (Rev 21:3); and especially, the holy temple. THIS TEMPLE, SYMBOLIZED IN PLACES OF WORSHIP BUILT OUT OF STONE, IS PRAISED BY THE HOLY FATHERS AND, NOT WITHOUT REASON, IS COMPARED IN THE LITURGY TO THE HOLY CITY, THE NEW JERUSALEM. As living stones we here on earth are built into it (1 Pet 2:5). John contemplates this holy city coming down from heaven at the renewal of the world as a bride made ready and adorned for her husband (Rev 21:16). (Vat II; Dog. Const., Lumen Gentium, art. 6. Emphasis added)

May he who is answer you on the day of your distress. May the name of the God Of Jacob establish you on the heights, defend you from his temple, and give you foundation from Zion. May He remember every one of your offerings, accept every one of your oblations. May he give you all your heart desires, bring to accomplishment every plan of yours. (psalm 20:2-5. My translation see NAB 20:2-5)

Yahweh is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?

Yahweh is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?

When evil doers came at me to eat up my flesh, even my adversaries and my foes, they stumbled and fell.

Thoiugh an army should camp against me, my heart shall not fear.

Though war should rise against me, even then I will b confident.

One thing have I asked from Yahweh, that I will seek after, that I may dwell in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life, to see Yahweh’s beauty, and to inquire in his temple.

For in the day of trouble he will keep me secretly in his pavilion.In the covert of his tabernacle he will hide me. He will lift me up on a rock. (Psalm 27:1-5 WEB bible; also NAB)

Great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, in his holy mountain.

Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion above the heights of the north, the city of the great king.

God has shown himself in her citadel as a refuge.

For, behold, the kings assembled themselves, they passed by together.

they saw, then they were amazed. They were dismayed. They hurried away.

Trembling took hold of them there, pain, as of a woman in travail…

As we have heard, so we have seen, in the city of Yahweh of Armies, in the city of our God. God will establish it forever.

We have thought about your loving kindness, God, in the midst of your temple.

As is your name, God, so is your praise to the ends of the earth. Uour right hand is full of righteuousness.

Let Mount Zion be glad! Let the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgements.

Walk about Zion, and go around her, number its towers, mark well her bulwarks,consider her places, that you may tell it to the next generation.

For this God is our God forever and ever. He will be our guide even to death. ( Psalm 48 :1-6, 8-14. WEB Bible. italicised words in vs. 2 are my modification.

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:1-2)

ANGELUS COMMENTARY FROM POPE BENEDICT XVI: Psalm 126 (127), just proclaimed, presents before our eyes a spectacle in movement: a house under construction, the city with its watchmen, family life, night watches, daily work, the little and great secrets of daily life. However, over all rises a decisive presence: that of the Lord who watches over the works of man, as the incisive beginning of the psalm suggests: “Uless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build.”

A solid society is born, indeed, from the commitment of all its members, but it has need of the blessing and support of that God who, unfortunately, is often excluded and ignored. The Book of Proverbs underlines the primacy of divine action for the well-being of a community and it does so in a radical way, affirming that “the blessings of the Lord make rich, and he adds no sorrow with it” (Prov 10:22) [Comm. on Psalm 126 (127); Pope Benedict XVI]. Go here to read the rest.

See St. Augustine’s notes on this Psalm here.


ISAIAH 1:10-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 25, 2007

ISAIAH 1:10-17.

Vs. 10. Hear the word of Yahweh, you who rule Sodom. Listen to the instruction of our God you Gomorrah-people.

Having begun the oracle by calling heaven and earth to attention as witnesses, the prophet now calls on the sinful rulers and people to attend to God’s teaching. Notice the link between vss 9 and 10 (Sodom, Gomorrah). This shows that vss 10-17 are to be taken as relating to vss 2-9. Having seperated themselves from God (2-9) they still seek him in worship (10-17). In the crrent passage God shows he is having none of that.

“Hear…” (Heb shama; shaw-mah) This may be intended not only as a call to attention but also as a reminder of the shema, the traditional morning prayer of devout Jews which opens with the word “hear”.It is a prayer that insists on complete fidelity and reliance on God. “HEAR, OR ISRAEL, THE LORD IS OUR GOD, THE LORD ALONE! FOR THIS REASON, YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD, YOUR GOD, WITH YOUR ENTIRE HEART, WITH YOUR ENTIRE SOUL, AND WITH ALL OF YOUR STRENGTH. (Dt 6:5) In order to worship God properly one must be right with him. See the story of righteous Abraham and his role in the Sodom and Gomorrah event (Gen 18:16-19:29)

Vs 11. What care do I have concerning the number of your sacrifices? says the Lord. I have had quite enough of your whole burnt offerings of rams, and of the fat of your fatted beasts; no delight do I take in the blood of your bulls, your lambs, or your goats.

This verse notes several common sacrifices mandated by the law. God is not here condemning sacrifices as useless, a claim once made by some liberal scholars. The point of the verses being examined is the proper disposition needed for such sacrifices (see Amos 5:21-24; Hosea 6:6; Jer 7:21-23; Matt 5:21-26)

Vs 12 When you come before my face, who required these things from you, that you should trample my courts?

To be “before” someones “face” is Heb idiom for being present in someones company. God never required that people come before him in the temple (trample my courts) with useless sacrifices.

Vs 13 Bring to me no more of your vain offerings; your incense is an abomination before me. Your new moon and sabbath assemblies are solemnities of wickedness which I cannot endure.

Just as God cannot bear sacrifices done with impure motives, neither can he tolerate the celebration of holy days when the same motives are present.

Vs 14. Your new moons and feast days my soul hates; they have become a burden upon me, and I am tired of bearing them.

The word used for hate in the verse is “shane” (saw-nay). It refers to the hatred of a personal enemy. This enemy God is tired (la’ah, law-ah. that is, disgusted) with bearing (enduring).

Vs 15 When you spread out your hands (ie. in prayer) i will conceal my eyes from you; if you make a multitude of prayers, I will refuse to listen; for your hands are filled with blood.

God will refuse to look upon hands outstreched in prayer because they are covered with blood. Some scholars think the blood refers to the blood of the worthless sacrifices mentioned in previous verses. I think it’s a preparation for vs 21. Since this is my blog the scholars gets overuled (it feels good to be king). The reference to God concealing his eyes may be a link to vs 12 which speaks of the people coming before the face (into the presence) of God.

Vs 16-17. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; take away your evil deeds from before my eyes; stop doing evil, learn how to do good,strive after justice, remove oppression, protect the fatherless, plead the widows cause.

Notice the reference to God’s eyes, it links with the reference in vs 15. This is one reason why, in vs 15, I think “your hands are full of blood” does not refer to sacrifice. God has changed his focus from sins against himself, to sins against others. What the people are told to correct here was a special concern of God’s. Recall the words of our Blessed Lord about the greatest commandment: You shall love the Lord, your God, with your entire heart, your entire soul, and your entire mind. This is the first and the greatest of the commandments. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as if he were your very self. All of the law, and all of the prophets depend on these two commands. (Mt 22:34-40; quoting Dt 6:5 and Lev 19:18)

For more about widows, orphans, and the oppressed see Ex 22:21-24; Mal 3:4-5; Amos 4:1-5. Note the close connection to sacrifice and justice in the last two passages.

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