25 April 2017

The Psalms, the Prayer of Israel and the Church

"The Psalms, the Prayer of Israel and the Church," was the theme of the forty-second Biblical-Theological Refresher Course, organized by the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem.

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From April 18th to April 21st, in the Immacolata Auditorium at the St. Savior Monastery, the 42rd Biblical-Theological Refresher Course, organized by the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem, took place.

More than 160 students enrolled to study the theme of the 2017 Biblical-Theological Refresher Course:
"The Psalms, the Prayer of Israel and the Church."

Dean Studium Biblicum Franciscanum – Jerusalem
“At the request of most of the participants, we focused on the book of Psalms, a Bible book that is very familiar to all of us. We tried, to the highest level possible, to complete the study of this book in 3 days and 9 lessons which covered all the psalms.”

"As a religious, my love for the psalms arises, first of all, from the connection we have with these texts from the old testament, which are part of our way of communicating with God."

Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem
"Psalms are the word of men to God and at the same time they are God's Word to men, because they are part of the Bible, therefore they are a revelation from God; so it is very important that in our personal prayer life, we realize that we are saying a prayer that God himself has given us and that we can say when we want to turn to Him.”

The course lasted four days, with a total of 9 conferences on the Psalter, as a Book of Life. The figure of the woman is also examined in the Psalms.

Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem
"This prayer certainly examines women and we can say that a woman, in the psalms and in real life, in writing in general, is the symbol of life. So, we wish for all the women who are listening to us to be this great sign, to fulfill their mission of evangelizers and witnesses to life, and above all, witnesses of the great acceptance which is the best way to express God's love."

Psalms invite us to conversion, they are witnesses of Jesus as the Messiah

Studium Biblicum Franciscanum – Jerusalem
"We must keep in mind that Jesus prayed the Psalms. In moments of difficulty, even in times of joy, Jesus echoed the feelings that these Psalms transmit. Jesus also prayed the Psalms to find the meaning of His mission as well as the will of God, after which He embarked on the journey to the cross, the passion and the resurrection.”

In the Refresher Course program, the afternoon is usually dedicated to excursions.

Studium Biblicum Franciscanum – Jerusalem
"This year, we will visit the places around and inside Jerusalem, where the Psalms originated as prayers: the Psalms of Ascension, the Psalms of trust, the Psalms of David: we will try to live this experience. On Friday, as a tradition, we will use an entire day to go on excursion to the places outside the city; this year we will go to the Negev."

The imprecatory Psalms were placed in the biblical and liturgical contexts: Psalm 22nd in the Fourth Gospel and in the passage of the passion of John and the Apocryphal Psalm 151 in the Ancient Tradition.

"First of all, the psalms are a topic I did not know, but, after listening to the priests who talk about this theme, I now understand that Psalms are suitable to us, to every person."

"Having the opportunity to participate in this Biblical-Theological Refresher Course on Psalms represents an important enrichment. I lead groups of pilgrims to the Holy Land and I can say that passion combines our spiritual-personal revival to the richness of being able to offer this study to the pilgrims and the people whom I accompany.”

"It is very rich study and I can say that they (the Psalms) represent the word of God that we 'eat' and that we even 'chew' in our lives. It is a very profound wealth. This encourages us to pray more deeply.”