My series of meditations on Psalm 51 was thought to be over as the Biblical margin notes indicated that the last 2 verses had been added substantially later and are also different in tone and focus (probably due to their later addition). I have reconsidered not including them, as they are a good reminder of some of the benefits of repentance, and the subsequent opportunity to build on what was completed in the penitential conversion. The main reason that I reconsidered is that Lent is upon us, and with its focus on repentance, conversion and ultimately death, I figured verses 20 & 21 would be a foretaste of the aftermath of a “good Lent.”
Psalm 51:20-21: “Make Zion prosper in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifice, burnt offerings and holocausts; then bullocks will be offered on your altar.”
We are all sinners, we are unclean before God. We come to Him with our sins, presenting them as means for cleansing us of our impurities. Remorse and sorrow for our sins combined with our love for God causes us to embark upon a penitential journey. We are humble and sorrowful, and wish to do better in His sight. Our sins humble us, and make us realize that our actions are imperfect. We need His grace to save us, and by His grace we do the things needed to build up His Kingdom on Earth, for that is how we can grab a foretaste of Heaven. Our works alone do not save us, but in concert with His grace, they provide the evidence needed to establish a testimony to His goodness. We are made in the image and likeness of God, and as such even our works, under the influence of His grace, reflect Him in our lives.
It is through repentance and turning back to the Lord that we are then capable of offering up a proper sacrifice of ourselves, through the offering up of our daily troubles and imperfections, our sufferings and joys.
Lent is upon us. Start thinking of areas in which you are deficient in your devotion to God. Figure out where to amend your life.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"