"TO THEE, O LORD, I LIFT UP MY SOUL"
We enter once more into this Season of the Lord’s Advent in preparation for the Feast of Christmas. An important part of the Season is to be aware of the two-fold motion going on between God and us: on the one side God “comes” or “appears”, and on the other side man (we) “goeth forth to meet Him”. This is well expressed in the Collect Prayer for this First Sunday of Advent (1970 Missal):
Grant, Almighty Father, that when Christ comes again we may go out to meet Him, bearing the harvest of good works achieved by Your grace. We pray that He will receive us in into the company of the saints and call us into the kingdom of heaven.
Psalm 24(25) is used for the Introit Psalm in today’s Mass (for both forms) and it expresses well the longing of the human heart for God. It speaks of confidence in God’s mercy and faithfulness, true sorrow for sin, and the desire for following the way of God’s truth: “Make me to know Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me, for Thou art the God of my salvation; for Thee I wait all the day long.” (vv. 4-5)
Besides Psalm 24(25), three other Psalms are used in the versicles of the Advent-Mass Introits to re-enforce the theme of man going forth to meet God even as He comes to us. They are Psalm 79(80) Sunday II, Psalm 84(85) Sunday III (Gaudete), and Psalm 18(19) Sunday IV (Rorate).
A good spiritual exercise for these Advent days would be to read the full text of all four of these Advent season Psalms and make them our companions in our preparation for Christ’s coming with His grace to us at Christmas.