By Erica Schieffer, EDGE Coordinator
“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, His mercy endures forever.
Let Israel say: His mercy endures forever. (Covenant with Abraham)
Let the house of Aaron say: His mercy endures forever. (Covenant with Moses)
Let those that fear the LORD say: His mercy endures forever.” (New Covenant in Jesus)
NAB Revised Edition
Psalm 118: 1-4 is our Alleluia Psalm! It is the perfect Easter song of praise and thanksgiving to a good and faithful Father. This Psalm is a total accumulation and culmination of all that we have been learning from Adam to Jesus. God remaining faithful in His covenants with us, continually drawing us back to communion with Him, even to the point of death on a cross. His resurrection is our thanksgiving song. Alleluia!
Our Catholic faith teaches us 4 ways to pray. It’s often referred to as the A.C.T.S prayer. It stands for Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.
This Psalm is one of thanksgiving, and one of my favorite ways to pray. I love to pray through the reading of scripture and finding God’s hidden blessing for the day, then thanking Him for all His good gifts. God our Father is the lover of all people, the merciful one that forgives and nourishes us with the very gift of Himself in the Eucharist. The word Eucharist in Greek means thanksgiving. When I go to receive the Eucharist, am I giving thanks? It is a beautiful gift to be in tune with the little things and how God is present in every little moment of my life and in every single person that I encounter, even in the storm. One way I do this is by keeping a prayer and gratitude journal. I read a section of scripture, then I write what stands out to me and I meditate why that stands out. Oftentimes it is followed by my written prayer to God, thanking Him for revealing His goodness and mercy in that moment. If there is a negative circumstance, I find a little positive to thank Him for.
Natalie Grant’s song, “Praise You in this Storm” is a beautiful song of praising God even in the midst of terrible heartache, the loss of a child.
“And I’ll praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands, ‘cause You are who You are, no matter where I am. And every tear I’ve cried, You hold in Your hands. You never left my side. And though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm.”
God has created each one of us perfectly and loves each of us completely – even to the point of death. That doesn’t mean that we are perfect; because of sin in the world, unfortunately none of us are. But we are each beautifully and perfectly created, designed, and chosen. God loves all and is in all. What a blessing to thank God for!
So, wherever you are right now, God has never left you. He is in you and with you always and forever. There is nothing that can tear you away from God’s love. Not my will Lord, but Yours be done. He loves all of us, despite our sin. “His mercy endures forever!”