Remember the marvels the Lord has done!
The above is the response to the Responsorial Psalm of today’s Mass. Psalm 105 (104) is a magnificent summary of the history of the people of Israel. It goes without saying, however, that the message that the Psalm conveys goes far beyond any historical event: the psalmist wants to affirm the faithfulness of the Eternal One who never abandons his people, even if these people often try to distance themselves from Him.
The Psalm contains a lesson of historia salutis (the history of salvation), in hymnic guise, given in the setting of a liturgical celebration.
It is a common experience of man to forget who he has received good from. Whether God or another man. It is a drama that generates a lot of pain in everyday life: feeling forgotten. Feeling replaced by “a golden calf.” How easy it is for many people to forget the marvelous deeds of God, especially when they are in difficulty. For others, moments of crisis present them an opportunity to come closer to God and experience His reassuring love.
A Lived Experience
Two weeks ago, the small city in which I live in Italy experienced a devastating flooding which turned some parts of the city almost into ruins. It was intense and forceful to the extent that many cars parked along the road were swept away by the raging flood. Houses were submerged, including the emergency wing of the city hospital, and some parish churches. A lot of people experienced great economic damage, as most of their properties were ruined. Some factory equipment and appliances also were affected. 9 victims were recorded, mostly elderly people living alone, who could not easily escape the fast-rising level of water which paid them an unexpected visit. The devastating effect led to the shutdown of schools and cemeteries for some days. The entire city was thrown into a mourning mood.
After the flood disaster, it was edifying to see the Churches full of active participation of the people at Sunday liturgies as well as the weekday celebrations. During my interactions with some of them, I marveled to hear them recount the good things God has been doing in their midst and how their city has been, at some instances, spared from natural calamities and misfortunes in the past. Italy was one of the countries greatly hit by the evil Covid-19 pandemic, nonetheless, this city was one of the least affected, they recounted. I saw in them a people who did not forget the marvels the Lord has done, even in the face of pain and sorrow.
What about You?
What is your disposition towards God when you face difficult challenges of life? Do you still remember the good works of the Lord in your life, or are you easily overcome by emotions to the extent of blaspheming against God. How many people left the church or abandoned their faith following the Covid-19 experience? Do you still remember the good things people did for you in the past, even though you may no longer be friendly with them again?
A famous song says: “Count your blessing and name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”