Prayer and Reflection by Bishop Sylvester David OMI

Auxiliary Bishop Sylvester David offers his prayer and reflection for the people of the Archdiocese of Cape Town for today, Friday 28 May 2021, during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic. It is also available on the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Please also see below the text of his reflection, primarily for the deaf.

Reflection for Friday 28 May 2021. “Sing a new song” (Psalm 149:1)

Our responsorial psalm for today’s Mass encourages us to “sing a new song”. What is the new song and who can sing it? The new song is the song of love sung by people who have chosen the new life. For St Augustine it is only the new person who can rightfully sing the new song. The new person, the new journey, the new covenant, the new life and the new testament all come together when the new song is authentically sung. 

This is an Easter proclamation and Augustine spoke his insight to the newly baptised. From our own liturgical celebrations we know this to be a constant refrain during the Easter season. Why then does this psalm find its way into our liturgy outside of the Easter season? Perhaps an analogy from nature can help us understand. Those who live on the Highveld in South Africa will be familiar with the “highveld thunderstorm”. On a hot summer’s day in Johannesburg for example, suddenly in the mid-afternoon, dark clouds gather and build up and give way to an enormous thunderstorm. The streets become drenched and people dash for cover. About forty minutes later, just as suddenly as it started, the storm abates and the sun starts to show. After a little while, the is little evidence of the storm and the cricket match resumes at the Wanderers. That is exactly what Easter is not supposed to be – like the highveld thunderstorm which is over in a flash leaving no sign that it was even experienced.

We are meant to take the new life of Easter into our daily routine and to interpret the world through our experience of the resurrection. I wish you great joy and we take the fact of the Lord’s resurrection into our routines and infuse our space with the words and the values of the new song.

Bishop Sylvester David OMI
VG: Archdiocese of Cape Town

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