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Psalm 147 5th Sunday 2012

Psalm 147 5th Sunday 2012

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St. Mary Catholic Church Chillicothe - Music Director Delma Rouleau reflects on the weeks Psalm
St. Mary Catholic Church Chillicothe - Music Director Delma Rouleau reflects on the weeks Psalm

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Published by: St. Mary Church Chillicothe Ohio on Feb 15, 2012
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02/15/2012

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From the Organ Bench 
 Psalm 147  Praise the LORD who heals the broken hearted.
Psalm 147 is thought to be a compilation of two poems. The first poem iscomprised of verses one through eleven and is the source of today¶s text. Thesecond poem begins at verse twelve and continues to the end of the psalm. Psalm147 is dated by scholars as belonging to the corpus of post exilic literature. Theedict of 538 B.C. allowed the Jewish exiles to return to their country. In the books,
 Ezra
and
 Nehemiah,
accounts of the resettlement process are given. The primary building project during this time was the construction of the Second Temple. Thissanctuary was completed in the spring of 515 B.C. The second phase of re-construction was the rebuilding of the walls and gates around Jerusalem. This project was completed in 443 B.C. The dedication of this event is recounted in the4
th
chapter of Nehemiah.Psalm 147 reflects the hopes, history, and to a certain extent the nationalstruggles of Israel, the People of God. Psalm 147 also articulates their covenantalrelationship with the LORD.
 Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praise to our God! How pleasant and fitting to praise God!The LORD is the one building up Jerusalem, He gathers the exiled ones of Israel.The LORD is the One healing those being of broken heart.The LORD is the One binding up their wounds.The LORD is the One determining the number of the stars; He calls them each by name.Great is our LORD and mighty in power. His understanding has no limit.The LORD is the One sustaining the humble; And casts the wicked ones to the ground.
In the Hebrew scriptures there is a connection between sin, guilt and sickness.Sickness was a sign of being forsaken by God. The sick person was marked as being separated from God. To be separated meant being without help, or 
helpless
.
 
 
Being apart from God was equivalent to being
lost.
The sick were not allowed inthe precincts of the sanctuary. Among the Hebrews, the priests were the accreditedmedical officers of health (Lev.14:2). Sacred cleansings of the sick were followed by acts of atonement.Yet, in this psalm the Physician is the Creator. His healing power is great andmighty. His scope of diagnosis is limitless. His understanding is infinite,immeasurable, and unlimited. There is no wound beyond His repair. There is no brokenness of body, mind, heart or country that This One cannot recalibrate,rebuild, or mend.It does not matter if one is lost. It does not matter if a family is lost. It does notmatter if an entire nation is lost in exile. God gathers the lost and those who areexiled. The Lord builds them a home; a city; a place of peace, wholeness, and well- being, or 
health.
Another distinctive feature of biblical teaching is the idea of 
humility
which wasunparalleled in other religious or ethical systems. Just as illness reflected sin, thesource of sin had (or has)only one source: pride. Pride places a person¶s trust inone¶s self. Or pride places one¶s trust in a prince, a king, a dynasty, or an army.
 Humility
is to trust in God alone (Ps. 118:8).
 Humility
is the proper attitude beforethe LORD (Ps. 146:3).
 Humility
is the quality of unpretentious behavior; to livelike those of low status.In the LXX, to be ³humbled´ was to be brought low or down by compellingcircumstances, or sickness. To be
humbled 
was to be
afflicted.
One could be³humbled´ by poverty or want. In this meaning, to be
humbled 
was to be
 poor 
.Other religions and cultures did not value any spiritual merit in the status of the poor. The Stoics believed that men should not entertain ³humble´ thoughts abouttheir nature. Humility was the stuff of servitude. In the aristocratic culture of Ancient Greece, the worth of a man was determined by his parentage. Nobility andvirtue were inherited. The Greeks detested the Eastern practice of prostration before rulers. Psalm 147 brings into focus the biblical view of humility:
The Great and Mighty LORD;The God with a personal name;The King of the Universeconcerns Himself;makes it His business to -care for, support, and sustainthe poor, the marginal, the lowly,

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