If you want to really know what you’re interested in ask yourself this question: when scripture is being read during Mass, and you’re only half listening, what words snap you back to attention? Many times it can be something that is associated with your occupation. Bakers, carpenters, wine makers and so on often pay more attention to what is being read when it deals with something associated with their lives. For me it usually involves either teaching or archery.
Psalm 127 is one of those psalms that resonates with many people: builders, guards, warriors, archers, bakers, mayors and city councillors. Most of all, though, it resonates with men in general and fathers in particular.
The psalm begins with pointing out that without God all our labours are in vain. It ends, though, with the praise of having sons who are described as arrows in a quiver (see why I like it?)
While the psalm can be read on a purely human level I like to think we can look at it from another point of view. The psalm states:
“Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5 (NRSV)
Replace the human father with the Divine Father and the psalm takes on another dimension. We are the arrows in God’s hand. The Father is happy when his quiver is full. It is God the Father who will not be put to shame as he fights Satan at the very gates of Hell.
Each one of us is a weapon in the hand of God. Each one of us is fired, day after day, into the melee of life. When we are broken God mends us and replaces us in his quiver. Together we form a mighty arsenal at God’s disposal and our battle is waged at the very gates of hell. Let us rejoice and be glad.
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