The Psalms – Praises and Palm Sunday, pt.3

As you read through and meditate on Psalms 118, think about what are the “gates” and “doors” of which these psalms speak. From a literal perspective, they are, of course, the actual physical gates of Jerusalem through which Jesus actually rode. However, think of what the “gate” into a metaphysical Jerusalem (e.g. the Church or Christ) means for us. In his Letter to the Corinthians, written in about 95, St. Clement (the fourth bishop of Rome) wrote:

Let us therefore, with all haste, put an end to this [dissention in the church]; and let us fall down before the Lord, and beseech Him with tears, that He would mercifully be reconciled to us, and restore us to our former seemly and holy practice of brotherly love. For [such conduct] is the gate of righteousness, which is set open for the attainment of life, as it is written, “Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go in by them, and will praise the Lord: this is the gate of the Lord: the righteous shall enter in by it.” Although, therefore, many gates have been set open, yet this gate of righteousness is that gate in Christ by which blessed are all they that have entered in and have directed their way in holiness and righteousness, doing all things without disorder. Let a man be faithful: let him be powerful in the utterance of knowledge; let him be wise in judging of words; let him be pure in all his deeds; yet the more he seems to be superior to others [in these respects], the more humble-minded ought he to be, and to seek the common good of all, and not merely his own advantage.

Letter to the Corninthians, Ch.48

Psalm 24 also speaks of the gates. In the Messiah, Part II, Mov. 33, Handel uses Psalm 24 in the context of the Ascension to answer the question of “Who is this King of Glory” (Ps.24:8). For Handle, the “gates” are the gates of heaven welcoming back the exalted Son. In addition to Handel’s magnificent use of this psalm, Psalm 24 has also inspired lesser artists working in alternative forms, such as liturgical dance. Scripture relates that when David brought the Ark of the Covenant through the gates of Jerusalem in glorious triumph, that “David danced before the Lord with all his might.” 2 Sam. 6:14. Stephen Colbert’s interpretation of this liturgical dance set to Psalm 24 is here. Enjoy.

Dinner is 6. Betty Anne is cooking for us. Hope to see you tonight.

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