onlineeditiontxt-new4.gif (744 bytes) 2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes) Catholic Key
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes) 2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes) 2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)

Search for:
Advanced search  

12/22/2006
Back to Home Page

Local News
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Fourth graders read together to help break a world record
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Wishing you God's blessings for a wonderful Christmas
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Msgr. Donald Sylvester Miller, 80, dies
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
School community tells Judy Warren she will be missed


2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)

2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Northland Catholic students raise $3,136 to benefit families
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Eighth grader's play focuses on what Christmas means
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Urban Ranger Corps refurbishes lives, neighborhood
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
National & International News
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
News Briefs
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
The Good News
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Music gives life to our anticipation, joy
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Daily Scripture Readings
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
Advertising
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Key Classifieds
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Advertising Rates
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
Contact Us
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Send us your questions or comments
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
Links
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Catholic News Service
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Vatican
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Diocese Site
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
Archives
2x2blue.gif (41 bytes)
Past Issues
2x2transparent.gif (43 bytes)
 

newspaperof.GIF (1391 bytes)


Music gives life to our anticipation, joy
By Father Paul Turner
Key Scripture Columnist

newturnerbox.jpg
The Good news for the Feast of the Holy Family
December 31, 2006
Luke 2:41-52

and the Feast of the Epiphany
Jan. 7, 2007
Matthew 2:1-12

During the first week of Advent this year I heard someone say, “I’m tired of Christmas music.” An editorial in the local newspaper voiced the same opinion. Christmas decorations went up in stores as Halloween decorations came down, and some radio stations broadcast Christmas music round the clock. Before Advent began this year, satellite radio offered five different stations of commercial-free Christmas music.

Meanwhile, we sang Advent music at church. Throughout the first 3 weeks of December, you can hear Christmas music everywhere except in church. Then, when we start, everyone else stops. As we plunge into the Christmas season, stores throw out their evergreen, and radios switch back to rap, country, hip-hop, and classical. After December 25, you can’t hear Christmas music anywhere, except in church.

For Catholics, Advent has its own songs of anticipation. Christmas has its own songs of celebration. For us this music comes to life once we have entered the season. A good Christmas carol tells not just that Christ the Savior is born, but why he is born. A Christmas carol is a little homily on the Word made Flesh. It announces good news, while it urges fidelity to the Wisdom of God.

Over the next two Sundays the lectionary invites us to sing Psalms 84 and 72. They may not sound like carols to you, but they are similar. In the light of Christmas these psalms are prophecies that announce who Jesus is.

Psalm 84 is a processional song for pilgrims to Jerusalem. In anticipation of seeing the Temple, each one sings, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord.” With some jealousy they regard those who live and work in the holy city. “Happy they who dwell in your house! Continually they praise you.” We sing this psalm next week because the dwelling place of the Lord appears in the first reading (1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28) and the Gospel (Luke 2:41-52). After Samuel is born, Hannah takes him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh, a little north of * These Scripture readings are from the New American Bible. Jerusalem. She dedicates him to the Lord “to remain there forever.” In the Gospel, the child Jesus sits in the Temple in Jerusalem, where he listens to teachers and asks questions. In both cases, people make a pilgrimage to the place of the Lord. They may have sung Psalm 84 or something like it on their journey.

Psalm 84 makes a good choice next Sunday for another reason. One of the verses prays, “Look upon the face of your anointed.” The pilgrims ask God’s blessing upon the king. The responsorial psalm omits several verses of Psalm 84, but it keeps this one. The psalm is pointing forward to Jesus. In the Temple he astounded those who listened to his understanding. Psalm 84 does what a Christmas carol does. It tells who Jesus is: the anointed one, the Christ, the Messiah.

Psalm 72 is a royal song. It praises God for the gift of a good king. In our culture, we criticize our political leaders, so it is unusual to think of songs that praise God for the remarkable qualities and judicious character of the Head of State. But there you have it in Psalm 72. The king shall govern God’s people with justice and judgment in a place like Camelot: “Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more.”

For Christians this psalm prophesies the coming of Christ the King, who will rule with justice, and who brings profound peace. Psalm 72 is favored during the Advent season because of this prophesy.

But it also works as an Epiphany song because of verses 10 and 11: “The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts… . All kings shall pay him homage.” In the well-known Gospel for this solemnity (Matthew 2:1-12), magi offer gifts to the newborn Christ. It took a Christmas carol to make us think of kings instead of magi. They appear because Psalm 72 prophesied they would. By offering gifts, they proclaim that the newborn baby is the Messiah.It may be hard to open the hymnal and sing yet another Christmas carol over the next two weeks, but it is important to do so. Pay attention to the words and rejoice in what they proclaim. And when you sing these psalms, remember that they too are like carols, announing to the world that Christ is king.

Father Paul Turner is the pastor of St. Munchin Parish in Cameron.

END


Top of page

©2001 The Catholic Key - 816-756-1850
P.O. Box 419037, Kansas City, MO 64141-6037