WORD of the DAY
Have mercy on me Lord, in your great kindness; in your great mercy, wipe away my offense. Wash me from my sins. O God, create a clean heart in me; renew in me a steadfast spirit. Do not deprive me of your holy Spirit. Give me the joy of your salvation. Sustain in me a generous spirit. (Psalm 51: 3-5/ 12-14)
The Responsorial Psalm of today presents to us Psalm 51, which is the psalm par excellence of conversion and the one that began Lent on Ash Wednesday. Some of it has been paraphrased in order to follow the original text.
The central part of the Psalm uses the powerful verb, ‘create’ used exclusively for God in the Bible, with a triple invocation to the Spirit: ‘renew in me a steadfast spirit…do not deprive me of your holy Spirit…sustain in me a generous spirit.’ As in the primal creation, the Spirit of God hovered over the primordial waters to give life to the cosmos; thus in this marvelous invocation, we ask for a triple Spirit to re-create the penitent sinner. All of the divine power is needed to tear away the human heart from the domination of sin. Thus, God’s forgiveness is never only a gesture of goodness, but also a gesture of power that changes the heart and takes it away from slavery. Paul will say that where there is a Christian, there is a new creation. (2 Cor. 5: 17)
Thus the Spirit becomes the interior principle that sustains the new creature and generates in her/him a steadfast spirit, one that is persevering and renewed, and a generous spirit that is obedient and docile to the Covenant with God. May the Spirit sustain us on our Lenten journey.
Through the day, I will meditate on this psalm and ask God the Creator to create in me a pure heart.
The voice of Psalm 143:10
Teach me to do Your will because You are my God. May Your Good Spirit guide me to level ground.