"How good and how pleasant it is..."
The Psalms are songs for our lives, but they emerged out of the very real experiences of the Jewish people. They still speak to us because they come from the human experience we all share. Last week, Fr. Dan's sermon noted that Christians have sometimes used passages in the New Testament as a way to build walls of separation and even prejudice and hatred against Jewish people. Yet, nothing could be further from the call of the Gospel for our lives.
The kind of tribal mindset that places "us" against "them" is the antithesis of the mission of Jesus and his way of love. His call, the call of the story of the prodigal Son, is to open our eyes to God's great banquet to which all people are invited. That sense of a common humanity is at the heart of the gospel.
What better way to see the Psalms than through the lens of the tradition of Judaism? This coming Sunday we have the great privilege of hearing Rabbi Neal Comess-Daniels share with us the Psalms as they are prayed and used in the life of our Jewish siblings. Please come to this event not only so we can open our eyes to a whole different way of looking at the Psalms, but so that we can show our love and welcome to Rabbi Neal. He is a friend of St. John's and a dedicated supporter of the Guibord Center and interfaith cooperation. Fr. Mark has had the opportunity to work with Rabbi Neal at two different events sponsored by the Guibord Center. As the Psalmist proclaims: "How good and how pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity."