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October 20 - Psalm 124

Fr. Michael MachacekNativity of Our LordOctober 20, 2021
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today's readings are Romans 6: 12-18 and Lk. 12: 39-48

"Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth".  So goes the response for our psalm for today's mass.  

Psalm 124 is one of the Songs of Ascent (psalms 120-134) that would have been sung by pilgrims as they journeyed up to Jerusalem for one of the major Jewish festivals such as Passover.  

Today's response brings back memories of Bishop Leonard Wall, former Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto and later Archbishop of Winnipeg.  When I was at St. Augustine's Seminary, Bishop Wall had his own suite at the Seminary. Every once in a while he would join the seminarians and staff for dinner, and naturally he would be invited to say grace.  He would always begin by saying, "Our help is in the name of the Lord", and we would all respond with "Who made heaven and earth".

This phrase is one of those phrases from the scriptures that is "loaded" - and I could easily do a entire Sunday homily on this phrase alone.  But for the sake of brevity, allow me to share a few thoughts.

First, our help in all things ultimately is found in God.  Yes, other people and things can help us along - but God is the ultimate source of our help in life.  Second, as further proof that our help is in the name of the Lord, God did create heaven and earth.  All around us in this created world are signs of the presence of God and His handiwork. And how blessed are we!