Praise the Lord! and Bernstein's Simple Song
We are called to praise God whatever our circumstances. Psalm 146 includes the word praise five times. It is a good example of a Psalm that suggests reasons for praising God – the many wonderful acts done on behalf of those in need of God’s blessing. Read Isaiah 61:1, 2 and Luke 4:14-21. The prophesy in Isaiah, Jesus announced, was being fulfilled in his own ministry – a sign of divine presence. Jesus reminds us that the righteous are not those who presume they are righteous because of their special status or public display of correct behavior. The righteous are those who express the same concern for those in need that God expresses. Thus, the ones in need and the righteous have good reason to sing psalms of praise. We also, whatever our circumstance of need or our measure of righteousness, are called up to praise God. (Kerygma, Griggs, Donald.) What are reasons for you to praise God today?
1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! 2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long. 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. 4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish. 5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God, 6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; 7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; 8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. 9 The LORD watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. 10 The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD! (bold added for emphasis)
from Christine Gaudreau
Here is a really gorgeous piece, Bernstein's Simple Song from his Mass which premiered in 1971. The lyrics were written by Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz and are based among others of Verses 1 and 5 of Psalm 146. Below an amazing recording of the wonderful Renee Fleming.