Christmas Real Book Pdf 139 ~REPACK~
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1. At this General Audience on Wednesday of the Octave of Christmas, the liturgical Feast of the Holy Innocents, let us resume our meditation on Psalm 139, proposed in the Liturgy of Vespers in two distinct stages. After contemplating in the first part (cf. vv. 1-12) the omniscient and omnipotent God, the Lord of being and history, this sapiential hymn of intense beauty and deep feeling now focuses on the loftiest, most marvellous reality of the entire universe: man, whose being is described as a "wonder" of God (cf. v. 14).
He is still an "unformed substance" in his mother's womb: the Hebrew term used has been understood by several biblical experts as referring to an "embryo", described in that term as a small, oval, curled-up reality, but on which God has already turned his benevolent and loving eyes (cf. v. 16).
3. The idea in our Psalm that God already sees the entire future of that embryo, still an "unformed substance", is extremely powerful. The days which that creature will live and fill with deeds throughout his earthly existence are already written in the Lord's book of life.
Let us now entrust ourselves to the reflection that St Gregory the Great in his Homilies on Ezekiel has interwoven with the sentence of the Psalm on which we commented earlier: "Your eyes beheld my unformed substance; in your book were written every one of them [my days]" (v. 16). On those words the Pontiff and Father of the Church composed an original and delicate meditation concerning all those in the Christian Community who falter on their spiritual journey.
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The word in verse 1 for "glory" (kābōd) is different from the word (hôd) we saw in 8:1b above. Kābōd is by far the most common word for glory in the Old Testament, from a root with the basic idea of "to be heavy, weighty." From this figurative usage it is an easy step to the concept of a "weighty" person in society, someone who is honorable, impressive, worthy of respect. When referring to God it expresses "the unchanging beauty of the manifest God," sometimes of a visible manifestation. Here, it is not only God's reputation which fills the earth, but it is the very reality, the splendor of his presence.7
For the Jew, "the law of the Lord" would refer to the Torah, the commands contained in the first five books of the Bible. For the Christian, "the law of the Lord" refers to the whole Word of God, especially the teachings and commands of Jesus our Lord and supreme Teacher sent from God.
David realizes that along with intricate, intimate formation, God's creation means that God knows his whole life from its very beginning to its very end. The Creator is both omnipotent (all-powerful), but also omniscient (all-knowing). We might feel that God's foreordination might be imposing on our supposed freedom, but his full knowledge of us is just a fact of life.