R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
From your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
Take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Psalm 80 is a prayer for Israel’s restoration. The idea of God being Israel’s shepherd occurs often in Scripture but rarely in the Psalter. That it occurs in our Advent sequence of responses is testimony to the tenderness of our God who comes as Emmanuel, slipping into our midst. We are the new Israel, the people in need of restoration and healing today. With the psalmist we pray that God might “stir up your might and come to save us.” We beg God to take care of us, to grant us new life.
As we conclude this second week of Advent, we might ask ourselves:
What in my life is crying out for restoration?
How do I experience the stirring of God’s mighty power in my soul?
How do I experience the tenderness of the Shepherd this Advent?
—Susan Kusz, SND is a Sister of Notre Dame serving as Associate Director of the Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, WI.
Teach us to follow you—
to care for all that are close to us,
to protect those who are threatened,
to welcome those who are rejected,
to forgive those who are burdened by guilt,
to heal those who are broken and sick,
to share with those who have little or nothing,
to take the time to really know one another
and love as you have loved us.
—John van de LaarPlease share the Good Word with your friends!