Standing in the house of the Lord

You who stand in the house of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord (Ps 134:2). Be grateful; you were once outside that house, and now you are inside it. You are standing there, and do you think it a little thing that you are standing where he is to be praised who raised you when you were prostrate and enabled you to stand in his house and to acknowledge him and to praise him? Is it a slight blessing that we are standing in the house of the Lord? Here in this meanwhile, in this journeying, in this house that is also a tent for strangers, must we not be very grateful that we are standing here? Shouldnt we think about itthat were standing here? Shouldnt we think about what we have been made? Shouldnt we think about where we were lying and where now we have been gathered? Shouldnt we think about this: that all the wicked did not seek the Lord, but he sought those who were not seeking him, and when he found them he awakened them, and when he had awakened them, he called them, and those he called he brought into his house and enabled them to stand there? Anyone who thinks about all this and is not ungrateful for it thinks slightly of himself in comparison with the love of his Lord by whom such great gifts have been given; and because he has nothing to return to God for such great blessings, what is he to do except to give thanks, and forget about some repayment? All he can do is give thanks and to take up the cup of salvation and call upon his name. For what is a servant to return to the Lord for all the things he has given him (Ps 115: 12-13). So then: You who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God, praise the Lord. (Augustine, In Ps 134, 2; PL 37:1739)

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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