MOSAIC Spring 2016 - Page 9

David is inspired This carved relief of a remorseful King rition. cont tfelt by Psalm 51 at its theme of hear Image courtesy of Wiki Commons. passion and death. . . . Knowing that Jesus himself prayed this psalm makes it even more important for us as Christians, challenging us to take up the refrain in our daily lives by praying these words of praise: ‘for his mercy endures forever.’” The Holy Father then goes on to discuss mercy in the life of Christ, the parables, and the teaching of the prophets. Many other psalms focus on God’s mercy besides those mentioned by Pope Francis. The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization has published a little book, The Psalms of Mercy (Our Sunday Visitor, 2015), that offers helpful commentary on ten “psalms of mercy” (25, 41, 42- abundant mercy (rahamim), asking that his sin be blotted out, washed, and cleansed (Ps 51:1-2). The psalm employs three different words for sin to cover every kind and degree of wrongdoing—a fact that helps everyone apply this psalm to his or her own life. The word translated as “iniquity” is a broad term that refers to any kind of evil act. “Transgression,” which means to cross the line, refers to acts that are contrary to any of God’s commandments and is the most serious kind of sin. Interestingly, the words translated “sin” from both Hebrew (hata’t) and Greek (hamartia) are drawn from the vocabulary of archery, where they mean to “miss the target.” Now that is a broad term! How many ways we miss the mark, in our speech, in our thoughts, in our use of time and money, in our treatment of others, in our prayer! Learning that sin means missing the target helps us prepare to receive mercy in confession. We begin by considering any commandments we may have broken, but then we go on to ask in what ways we have missed the mark, the bullseye, that the Lord intends us to hit, for instance, in loving our neighbor as ourselves. I discovered I had a lot more to confess! 43, 51, 57, 92, 103, 119:81-88, 136). I will conclude this article with comments on the most famous of those, Psalm 51, whose Latin title is “Miserere”—“Have mercy!” It is a psalm of repentance that is prayed in the Liturgy of the Hours every Friday morning. According to the ancient title at the beginning, this is the psalm David prayed after he was confronted by the prophet Nathan about his adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sam 11-12). Sin = Missing the Mark Despite the gravity of his wrongdoing, in Psalm 51 David appeals in confident hope to God’s merciful love (hesed) and to his Becoming a Missionary of Mercy In the \و[H LK]YXۛY\\[[ۙ][ۈ[\X]H\[[HۈXX\H\[\[܈8'Xܙ]X\ 8'HX[H[K][ܙX]HH]X\[[K[\ܙB\KH^\][\[Bٙ܈ZH]^H\H\]  LNLLK]YZ\\XX[ܙ\ܜ‘8&\^\ۘHK[\[\\ܙY H\܈Y\H]H[XYBHY\[\وY\KH\ۙY[B[Z\H[ܜ\YZ[[BHۛ]8'HXܚYXHX\XH‘\ H[[۝]HX\8'B LNMK]\YH܈]Y\YH܈\˂HYY8&\Y\HX[KX[ [\ܙH\ˈۛHYHXZ]HY\KۛHYH^\Y[H] [HXYHZ\[ۘ\Y\وY\K]\[X[\ۈHY[H\[[XZYHZ\وXܙYܚ\\H]XܙYX\ \˙YB‚