commentary Ps 67 for the 22nd Sunday of Year C
Psalm 67 Commentary bt Dr Noel Donnelly
movie of Commentary: Comm Ps 67 Small
audio of Psalm 67:
Psalm 67 has 36 verses from which our liturgy selects six (verses 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, and 11.
The scholars who comment on the whole psalm find it complex and difficult with uncertain Hebrew words and phrases. Earlier commentators suggested the psalm was just a list of the first lines of Hebrew lyrics, like the index to a hymn book! Nowadays the whole psalm is seen by some as a victory song for past blessings like the Exodus. Others see God as a great warrior, a Storm God, using the storm as weapons to defend the integrity of creation, protecting and preserving the divine order.
The special selected verses move from God riding on the clouds into God having a more personal focus: God as the father of orphans, defender of widows, giving the lonely a home to live in and leading prisoners to freedom.
The psalm follows the practical Ecclesiasticus reading on gentleness and humility. It leads on to the Gospel teaching on humility in social gatherings like the wedding feast.
Our selection ends with an ecological acknowledgement of how God provides rain for crops to be shared with the poor.
Pope Francis, in Laudato Si, would remind us of this psalm’s Storm god defending the integrity of creation, protecting and preserving the divine order. He writes, “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.” The misuse of creation, pollution, waste and the throwaway culture mean that the poor and refugees suffer most.
Singing the today’s selected verses is powerful, especially if that leads us to reflecting on the whole psalm, and acting accordingly, hand in hand with Francis.