Journey to Bethlehem Day 10
Tuesday, December 10 Psalm 72:1-7
1 Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to the royal son!
2 May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice!
3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness!
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the children of the needy,
and crush the oppressor!
5 May they fear you while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!
6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth!
7 In his days may the righteous flourish,
and peace abound, till the moon be no more!
The kings of Israel were to bestow only what they received from God. The prosperity of their people emerged out of a ruler's faithful execution of divine justice. Indeed, the Davidic monarchs are depicted in this Psalm as sources of blessings for the whole world.
"This king will come to the people for their good and for their rescue like rain" (v.6). Here, in a medieval rabbinic translation, emphasis is on the messianic deliverance by Davidic kings who kept the covenant, thus insuring the flourishing of biological Israel.
The benefits of the rule of Christ, David's remote heir, are greater. Commentators from the early church saw in the Psalm a prayer reflecting the prophetic hope of a glorious and just rule of the cosmic Christ over the earth.
Theodoret of Cyrus, one such exegete, found in verse 17 "All nations will declare him blessed... The inspired author knew this through the grace of the Spirit, and inflamed with desire he prays for it to happen and for the prophecy to take effect."
Consider what we are preparing to observe in this new church year. From the coming of God-made-man made manifest in Palestine to our anticipation of Christ's universal kingship on his return, we mark the convergence of his story with that of our own.
Lord Jesus, Carpenter and King, supreme Sovereign of all men, look with tender mercy upon the multitudes of our day who bear the indignities of injustice everywhere. Raise up leaders in every land dedicated to Your standards of order, equity, and justice. Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, the grace to be worthy members of Your Mystical Body, laboring unceasingly to fulfill our vocation in the social apostolate of Your Church.
Guide our minds to a meaningful understanding of the problems of the poor, of the oppressed, of the unemployed, of all in need of assistance anywhere. Guide our hearts against the subtle lure of earthly things and undue regard for those who possess them. May we hunger and thirst after justice always. Amen.