Sunday, August 20, 2017

Psalms 131-135 from my new book:

A NEW LOOK AT THE OLD PSALMS
Praying the Psalms: a modern interpretation

A New Look at the Old Psalms

____________________

I present here a new perspective on the psalms. I have rewritten them from a New 
Testament Christ-centered point of view. I did not try to capture the poetry of the 
psalms – I leave that to more gifted writers – but I attempted to capture their message
with a more modern interpretation.
God bless,
John
____________________


Psalm 131

L
ord, accepting one’s limitations is sometimes a hard lesson to learn. I was a man with high ambition bent on accomplishing great things. I did not ask for your help because I thought I could be successful without you. How wrong I was. I was blinded by my own pride that took me from one failure to another. Life has truly beaten me down, and you see before you a humble man. Forgive me, Lord, for not trusting you more. I now place myself in your hands like a young child totally dependent on its mother. May all God’s children learn to trust in the Lord now and forever. Amen.


Psalm 132

R
emember, Lord, David’s humility and the oath he swore that he would not rest until the Ark of the Covenant had a permanent home in Jerusalem. Today we worship you in the Tabernacle on the altar. The priest offers the body and blood of Christ to you in the sacrifice of the Mass. He leads the congregation in adoration and praise of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – whose blessings he draws down from heaven on the faithful who rejoice in God’s presence.

Lord, for the sake of David, your servant, you remember the vow you made to him. You swore that you would place one of his descendants, the Messiah, on his throne if they would honor the commandments you gave them. Christ brought the fullness of redemption to all your people.

Christ’s Church is now the permanent resting place for God, and he will remain with his Church until the end of the ages. He will bless his people by providing for their spiritual and physical needs. Through the intercession of his priests, the faithful will receive God’s blessings: their daily bread for nourishment and the bread of life in Holy Communion to sustain them on their spiritual journey. And the righteous will praise the Lord for their salvation.

The Lord strengthened the descendants of David until Christ appeared. Jesus is the light of the world, the Anointed One who will defeat God’s enemies. He rules heaven and earth with full authority from God.


Psalm 133

L
ord, how good and pleasant it is when the faithful gather together in your Church to praise you. Just as oil poured over the face and clothes of the Jewish priests consecrated them in God’s service, your faithful, by coming together as the body of Christ, dedicate themselves to you. Like dew flowing down a mountain side causes plants to grow, so the gathering of God’s people refreshes their spirit in order that they may be able to continue their sometimes harsh pilgrimage. It is in his Church that God blesses his people and brings them to eternal life.66


Psalm 134

I
n this evening prayer of praise, the priest calls upon the faithful servants of the Lord, who stand before the Tabernacle in the Church on earth and who will one day stand in the halls of heaven, to lift up their hands and worship the Lord. Then he gives his final blessing: “May the Holy Trinity — the Father, who created the universe; the Son, who rules heaven and earth; and the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life who fills us with grace to strengthen us on our journey — bless you all. This Mass is ended, although your pilgrimage continues. Go forth and glorify the Lord by your life. Amen.”


Psalm 135

L
et all the servants of the Lord, who are gathered together in his Church on earth and stand before the throne of God in heaven, make his praise glorious. Sing to the Lord, for in his goodness he chose Israel to be his special treasure.

The Lord is great and above all other gods that men have made and worship. Whatever the Lord willed came into being: heaven and earth; oceans and seas; clouds, lightning, rain, and wind. He shocked the people of Egypt with his plagues, including the death of the firstborn of all men and animals, to force Pharaoh to set the Jewish people free. He defeated the rulers of many kingdoms and gave their lands to his people.

The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. All generations will remember how he accomplished their salvation. He will bring justice to his people and have compassion for his servants.

False idols are just statues made of silver and gold by misguided men. They cannot speak, see, hear, smell, feel, walk, breathe, or make any noise at all. People who make and worship such dead objects are as brainless as the objects themselves.

May all God’s children praise the Lord. May all who stand in awe of the Almighty, who deigns to dwell in our midst, magnify the Lord. Alleluia!
____________________


Cover image: Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator)." Web. 25 Sept 2016.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spas_vsederzhitel_sinay.jpg
"Creative Commons License." Web. 18 May 2016.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/


66The Psalms, New International Version, St. Joseph Catholic Edition
(New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Corp., 1996), 353-354.

This book and other books I have written are posted for your reading pleasure at Booksie.

Scriptural quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, 
copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois
60189. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2016 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must 
be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is 
offered to the public free of charge for the glory of God.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Psalms 125-130 from my new book:

A NEW LOOK AT THE OLD PSALMS
Praying the Psalms: a modern interpretation

A New Look at the Old Psalms

____________________

I present here a new perspective on the psalms. I have rewritten them from a New 
Testament Christ-centered point of view. I did not try to capture the poetry of the 
psalms – I leave that to more gifted writers – but I attempted to capture their message
with a more modern interpretation.
God bless,
John
____________________


Psalm 125

G
od’s people and his Church are firmly established. His Church, like Mount Zion, is unshakeable. His people, likewise, are unwavering in their belief that he will save them. Just as Mount Zion surrounds the city of Jerusalem, his Church envelopes his people in its protective arms now and forever.  The Lord will not allow his people to be overcome by the ungodly, for they would eventually corrupt his faithful. Lord, do good to the righteous, but drive away the wicked. Place them with the other lost souls who are traveling on the road to perdition. Give peace to your people, Lord.

Psalm 126

W
hen the Lord delivered us from the enemy, we were so happy. Nonbelievers heard our words of excitement and were amazed at what the Lord had done for us. Indeed, he freed us from the enemy’s snares, and our sorrow became great joy. Now, Lord, help us to focus on the road ahead and keep up the good fight. Help us to grow in faith, just as desert rains bring sudden growth to what was dry and barren. The road will be difficult to travel at times, but with your help we will reach our final destination: heaven.

Psalm 127

W
ithout God’s help, Christ’s Church could never achieve universal appeal. As Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NLT) Lacking the Lord’s guidance and protection, the Church and all its faithful would not be able to ward off the enemy. Its future would be bleak indeed. Unless we trust in God, our efforts will yield limited results.
Yet the Lord pours blessings on those who hope in him. Even our children are a gift from God, for he gives them to us to protect and support the family. They will also ensure that the bloodline of his faithful will continue into perpetuity. Parents without resource or who are weak in health will be particularly grateful that they have children to assist them financially in their old age and defend them against unjust treatment.64

Psalm 128

B
lessed are you who take the high road to heaven. Your efforts will be rewarded, and God will look favorably upon you. He will take your spouse and children under his sheltering wings. He truly has a soft spot in his heart for those who revere him. May the Lord bless you and protect you; may he look with favor upon you and be gracious to you; and may he give you peace by providing all that you need to live life abundantly. Amen. 

Psalm 129

S
ince I was young, evil has sought to capture my soul, but I was not overcome. The devil never tired of scheming in secret to drive me off the road, but the Lord foiled his plans at every turn. Let those who hate God’s people be disgraced and sent packing. Let them be like grass that withers in the noonday sun, or that the reaper refuses to gather into sheaves. May no one wish them well or lift a finger to help them.

Psalm 130

F

rom the depths of despair, I beg you, Lord, to hear me. Let my humble prayer not fall upon deaf ears. Lord, if you held us accountable for every sin we committed, who could survive even for a second standing before you? But you are so forgiving. That is why I have waited so patiently, from morning to night, in hope of your absolution. May all God’s children never lose hope in the Lord, for he is merciful and eager to forgive. Indeed, he forgave all of us when he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, who died not just for my sins, but for the sins of all his Church. Amen.65
____________________


Cover image: Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator)." Web. 25 Sept 2016.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spas_vsederzhitel_sinay.jpg
"Creative Commons License." Web. 18 May 2016.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/


64John Brook, The School of Prayer. (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1992), 353-355.
65Ibid., p. 378-379

This book and other books I have written are posted for your reading pleasure at Booksie.

Scriptural quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, 
copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois
60189. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2016 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must 
be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is 
offered to the public free of charge for the glory of God.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Psalms 120-124 from my new book:

A NEW LOOK AT THE OLD PSALMS
Praying the Psalms: a modern interpretation

A New Look at the Old Psalms

____________________

I present here a new perspective on the psalms. I have rewritten them from a New 
Testament Christ-centered point of view. I did not try to capture the poetry of the 
psalms – I leave that to more gifted writers – but I attempted to capture their message
with a more modern interpretation.
God bless,
John
____________________


Psalm 120

(If Psalm 119 described the roadmap to heaven, then Psalms 120-134 depict the obstacles along the road that threaten to detour us or even lead us to a dead end. But we do not walk alone. God is our travel companion and he is always ready to fix our flat tire, give us a lift, or defend us against evil highwaymen.)

T
he devil conceals many traps along the road to heaven. Evil is always waiting to tempt us to take a detour that leads away from God.
I cried out to the Lord when I found myself attacked by the wicked. Save me, Lord, from these unjust and deceitful people. As Jesus said, “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” John 15:19 (NLT)

I felt like I was traveling through a barbarian land full of ungodly people. The Lord heard me. He knows how to deal with evil and then some. His arrows are sharp, as anyone knows who has been tried and tested by him. His coals are hot, like the ones that rained down on Sodom. I love peace, but all the enemy wants is war!


Psalm 121

S
o I lifted my eyes to God looking for his help. He created the universe. He certainly has the power to protect me. He will keep me from tripping on the stones in the road. He never sleeps, so he is always watching over me. He is my shelter and my strength. He will not let evil befall me. He will protect me from the heat of the sun and the evil that lurks in the shadows beneath the moon. He holds my soul in the palms of his hands. He observes everything I do and is ready to defend me now and until the end of time. “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow — not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below — indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 8:38-39 (NLT)


Psalm 122

T
hank God there were other travelers with me who encouraged me to seek sanctuary in Christ’s Church. It is there that all God’s children come together as one to thank the Lord for watching over them as they continue their journey to heaven. In his Church, those who love God will find justice, peace, and the spiritual wellbeing that God wishes for all his creatures. Let us all pray that God’s kingdom of heaven will soon be established on earth. As Jesus prayed, “May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Matt 6:9-13 (NLT)


Psalm 123

L
ord, we look to you in heaven as a servant looks to his master, or a maid looks to her mistress for the slightest indication of a wish or command to be performed. And we will keep looking until you show us compassion. Have mercy on us, Lord, for the world hates us. The arrogant show us nothing but contempt. We are a disgrace to the rich. Yet if we must endure such suffering, let it be for my and the world’s salvation. Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Amen. Luke 9:23 (NLT)


Psalm 124

W
ithout the Lord, the wicked would have overwhelmed us. We would have drowned in the torrent of their anger. Let us praise God for protecting and delivering us from the trap the ungodly set for us. The Lord, who created the universe, saved his lowly creatures from destruction. 

____________________


Cover image: Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator)." Web. 25 Sept 2016.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spas_vsederzhitel_sinay.jpg
"Creative Commons License." Web. 18 May 2016.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

This book and other books I have written are posted for your reading pleasure at Booksie.

Scriptural quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, 
copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois
60189. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2016 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must 
be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is 
offered to the public free of charge for the glory of God.