Psalms

How Awesome You Are, Lord, How Awesome Is Your Name!–Psalm 8

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How Awesome You Are, Lord, How Awesome Is Your Name!–Psalm 8

O Lord, our Lord,
    how awesome is Your Name through all the earth!
I will sing of Your majesty above the Heavens
    with the mouths of babes and infants.
You have established a bulwark against Your foes,
    to silence enemy and avenger.

When I see Your Heavens, the work of Your fingers,
    the moon and stars that You set in place—
What is man that You are mindful of him,
    and a son of man that You care for him?
Yet you have made him little less than a god,
    crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of Your hands,
    put all things at his feet:
All sheep and oxen,
    even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,
    and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
10 O Lord, our Lord,
    how awesome is Your Name through all the earth!


Swiftly moving through our day-to-day activities, we often forget how great God truly is. How incredible it is that He cares for us, lovingly watching over our every move. To think that the Creator of Heaven and earth chose for us to be alive during this specific time in space because He has a big plan for our lives. Yes, we have a divine mission to complete…one that is part of a much bigger story — the redemptive story — happening today, right before our eyes.

The rhetorical question posed in Psalm 8 is really an expression of great awe: Why does God, who is Eternal and all-powerful, care for us — the frail and the powerless? This psalm is a testament to King David’s inspiration of God and his great gratitude for Him. David marveled at the limitless grandeur of God (v 2-3), struck first by the smallness of us human beings (v 4-5), and then by the royal dignity and power that God has graciously bestowed upon us (v 6-9). As Saint John Paul II expressed it, “The human person feels almost overwhelmed by the grandeur of creation, ‘the work of Your fingers.’…Yet on the other hand, God bends down to man and crowns him as His viceroy [governor]” (St. John Paul II, General Audience, September 24th, 2003).

The answer to this question could be that God, by the very fact that He created us in His own image, with loving attention to every detail, has given us great dignity. With our gifts of intellect and free-will, we are charged with dominion over other earthly creatures (to care for them) and are given stewardship responsibility over all other creation as well. Sadly, many people abuse this gift by doing (choosing) evil instead. They fail to take proper responsibility of creation and cause even greater offenses to the dignity of other people through violence, oppression, sin, selfishness and neglect.

Fortunately, we are given the perfect model of a human being in Christ, Who came to serve others and die for their/our salvation. The supreme act (and example) of self-giving love. Because of His great love for us, and because of the example He left, we are also called to love — a heroic kind of love — for God and for neighbor. We are also called to take up our cross (all our hardships) and follow Christ each and every day. (Cf. St. John Paul II, General Audience, June 26, 2003).

As you prayerfully read over this Psalm today, think about how awesome our God is. His perfect holiness is something we can never fully comprehend due to the vast limitations of our human perception. But we can, at the very least, reflect and meditate on His majesty. When we look close enough, we get a glimmer of God’s glory by the natural beauty, harmony, and order in the created world. And, this appreciation of His glory only intensifies as we spend time in His revealed Word as well as witness the sanctity of those who truly love and honor Him. Make no mistake, God’s glory infinitely surpasses the sum of all His wondrous works.

There is much to be grateful for. So much to praise Him for. And the more we do — the more we praise, honor, worship and obey Him — the lighter our crosses will become.

Thanks be to God! To Him be all the glory.

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