Annual Jerusalem Passover (Lk 2:41-2:41)

“Now every year,

His parents went

To Jerusalem

For the festival

Of the Passover.”

 

Καὶ ἐπορεύοντο οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ κατ’ ἔτος εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ τῇ ἑορτῇ τοῦ πάσχα.

 

Luke alone continued to show how Jesus and Mary followed the Torah or Jewish law, since every year (κατ’ ἔτος), the parents of Jesus went (Καὶ ἐπορεύοντο οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ) to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ) for the festival of Passover (τῇ ἑορτῇ τοῦ πάσχα).  Passover was one of the 3 major festivals, and the most important, when observant Jewish people went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  Luke put a lot of emphasis on Jerusalem, the Temple, and the Law.

 

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Liturgical blessing (Ps 134:1-134:2)

A song of ascents

“Come!

Bless Yahweh!

All you servants of Yahweh!

You stand by night

In the house of Yahweh!

Lift up your hands to the holy place!

Bless Yahweh!”

Psalm 134 is the last in this series of pilgrimage songs on the ascent to Jerusalem. This short psalm is a blessing. They were called to bless Yahweh. These were the servants of Yahweh, who stood in the house of Yahweh at night. They were to lift up their hands and bless Yahweh.

The great fraternal life (Ps 133:1-133:3)

A song of ascents.

“How very good it is!

How pleasant it is!

Kindred brothers live together in unity!

It is like the precious oil upon the head.

It runs down upon the beard.

It runs down on the beard of Aaron.

It runs down over the collar of his robes.

It is like the dew of Hermon.

It falls on the mountains of Zion.

For there Yahweh has commanded his blessing,

Life forevermore.”

Psalm 133 is another very short psalm in this series of pilgrimage songs on the ascent to Jerusalem. This wisdom song emphasizes the value of brothers living together in unity. This was like the holy oil that one puts on one’s head. As in the ceremony for the consecration of the Levitical priests, it runs down as on the beard of Aaron and over the collar of his robes. This good fraternal life is like the dew from the mountains of Hermon in Syria. Here the dew falls on Mount Zion. From Mount Zion, Yahweh gives his blessings of life forever. Thus this very short psalm concludes with everlasting life.

Remembering David and Yahweh (Ps 132:1-132:5)

A song of ascents

“Yahweh!

Remember in David’s favor.

Remember all the hardships he endured.

Remember how he swore to Yahweh.

Remember how he vowed to the mighty one of Jacob.

‘I will not enter my house.

I will not get into my bed.

I will not give sleep to my eyes.

I will not give slumber to my eyelids.

I will not do these things

Until I find a place for Yahweh,

A dwelling place for the mighty one of Jacob.’”

Psalm 132 is another in this series of pilgrimage songs or psalms on the ascent to Jerusalem. However, this longer psalm celebrates the transfer of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem at the time of David, based on 2 Samuel, chapter 7. This psalmist asks Yahweh to remember that he had favored David in all his hardships. He wanted Yahweh to remember that David had vowed to the mighty one of Jacob. David said that he would not enter his house, go to bed, and let his eyes sleep, or let his eyelids slumber until he had found a dwelling place for Yahweh, the mighty one of Jacob. Yahweh was called the mighty one of Jacob. Obviously this is an exaggeration that David would not sleep until he built a place for the Ark of the Covenant, considered to be the presence of Yahweh.

Humble submission as a child (Ps 131:1-131:2)

A song of ascents, of David

“Yahweh!

My heart is not lifted up.

My eyes are not raised too high.

I do not occupy myself with things

Too great for me.

I do not occupy myself with things

Too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed my soul.

I have quieted my soul.

I am like a weaned child with its mother.

I am like a weaned child.”

Psalm 131 is another short psalm in this series of pilgrimage songs on the ascent to Jerusalem. However, this one is of David. His heart is not lifted up. Neither are his eyes raised up. He does not care about things that are too great or too marvelous for him. He has calmed and quieted his soul. He is like a child that has just been weaned from its mother, but still likes to be close to his mother.

From the depths (Ps 130:1-130:2)

A song of ascent

“Out of the depths,

I cry to you!

Yahweh!

Yahweh!

Hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive

To the voice of my supplications!”

Psalm 130 is another in this series of pilgrimage songs or psalms on the ascent to Jerusalem. However, this is more a penitential psalm that cries from the depths of despair. This psalmist cried out to Yahweh. He wanted Yahweh to listen. He wanted Yahweh to have his ears attentive to his prayers of supplication.

The attacks (Ps 129:1-129:4)

A Song of Ascents

“Often have they attacked me from my youth.

Let Israel now say.

‘Often have they attacked me from my youth.

Yet they have not prevailed against me.

The plowers plowed on my back.

They made their furrows long.’

Yahweh is righteous.

He has cut the cords of the wicked.”

Psalm 129 is another in this series of pilgrimage songs or psalms on the ascent to Jerusalem. In this particular song the psalmist claims to have been attacked since his youth. This youth may be a reference to Israel in its early stages in Canaan as Israel proclaimed the same message. They tried to plow the back of the psalmist. However, his enemies have not succeeded. Yahweh is the righteous one who has cut the cords of the wicked ones.