The opening lines of THIS SUNDAY’S PSALM [33 or 34] proclaim:

“I will bless the Lord at all times,

 his praise always on my lips.”

Do we PRAISE our living and loving God sufficiently?

I imagine that most of us do spend some sort of regular time each day in prayer (acknowledging God-in-Christ as an important element in our lives). It may not be any extended period or intensely formal but most do find time for the occasional ‘doffing of the hat’. Of course, it should be longer and a little more structured (most of us should work on that aspect), but there is in most of us an explicit acknowledgement of our Christian God every day.

However, if we spend a little time in honest reflection we may well discover that we do not simply PRAISE God sufficiently or as a daily part of our PRAYER(speaking to our God) and TELLING HIM how wonderful he is. Much of our prayer is directed to seeking HIS (HER) favour and influence in specific areas of our daily concern, and many do remember to THANK the Lord for his favours. However, how do we really shape in simple PRAISE? Prayers of thanksgiving do not always specifically express PRAISE FOR THE LORD’S HOLISTIC PRESENCE, CARE, AND CONCERN.

There is a need for us to be specific in our PRAISE!

See the opening lines of THIS SUNDAY’S OLD TESTAMENT EXTRACT [PROVERBS 9: 1 – 6].

“Wisdom has built herself a house,

she has erected her seven pillars,

… laid her table,

(and) despatched her maidservants.”

There it is …. all laid out before us: our God in his basic, fundamental, action. The whole Universe is his house which is supported by the Lord’s wisdom (the pillars). In addition, this house makes provision (the laid table) for all our needs, and everything (including his many assistants {maidservants}) is there to assist us in our living (as tough and difficult as it can, from time to time, be). We should praise God for the basics he has provided, and continues to provide. Often our God is questioned with the word WHY. Why the troubles … why the tragedies and catastrophes? If we asked the why about his goodness and blessings we would encounter the need for PRAISE!

Praise feeds faith and trust. Make no mistake about it. In addition, praise is the best form of thanksgiving. If we develop the habit of simple praise (without any other private agendas) it becomes so much easier to face the troubles, sufferings, difficulties, and disappointments. Why else would Saint Paul in our NEW TESTAMENT READING [EPHESIANS 5: 15 – 20] tell us we should “be filled with the Spirit …. sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns …. chanting to the Lord.” This, of course,does not necessarily mean we have to break into song at every available opportunity or that we should disrupt the serious matters of living. It does, however, intend to direct us in the tuning of our minds and hearts not only to recognise the marvels of the Lord in the world around us (including the mutual love and support of family and friends, the joy of children and grandchildren, as well as knowing that HE is “the Lord of sea and sky”) but to express our recognition in some sort of verbal and visible manner.

There exists a real need for us to introduce a great deal more JOY and HAPPINESS into our Christian-Catholic living and worship. Here, praise is the key!

As THIS SUNDAY’S GOSPEL [JOHN 6: 51 – 58] reminds us we “have to draw life” from Jesus Christ, and joy of life and in living with the Lord finds its source in PRAISE. Where there is no praise the Well runs dry, and we cannot draw anything from an empty Well. In addition, if there is no joy expressed in this life how can we possibly expect to find joy in the “eternal life” Jesus speaks of today? We have to “taste” in this life. Here, the Psalm introduces a powerful thought in the words “taste and see that the Lord is good.”

It may be helpful for us to reflect on the GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST which we pray on most Sundays of the year?