Commentary on the Gospel of

Tamora Whitney - Creighton University's English Department

“In Christ we were chosen… so that we might exist for the praise of his glory.”

When I teach World Literature and teach Candide, there is a section in the book where the main character finds El Dorado, a utopia, a paradise on earth. When Candide asks about their religion, the priest says that of course they have a religion – it consists of thanking God constantly for everything they have been given. And he seems confused about the question – what else could a religion be? What else would be appropriate for people to do? I can’t disagree with that. What else is appropriate for people to do? We exist for the praise of his glory.

We should sing our thanks and praise to God, with a harp or lyre, or just our voices. I used to be a music minister. I really miss singing at Mass. I really miss going to Mass. I still sing at my house when I’m watching Mass on my tv, but I still miss it. And I love the song by Dan Schutte that is based on the psalm for today, “Like Cedars they Shall Stand.” It says, “I will greet the Lord with my song, I will sing of the ways of the Lord” and goes on, “To thank him for his love at dawn his faithfulness through night.” Even before I was Catholic I sang at church in my college choir and sang mass with my friends from school, so my very beginnings in the church I chose were praising God with my song. The music was what introduced me to the church and encouraged me to stay. I still feel most connected to God and to the church when I’m singing hymns.

These days there are a lot of hard things happening, and it can seem difficult to stay positive and to be grateful, but even in the midst of hardships there are still things to be thankful for. We can continue to praise God for the good things around us, “the Lord looks down he sees all.”


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