Universal Praise of God
- Psalm 117:1 This psalm is a short invitatory earnestly exhorting all peoples to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, for the signal kindness and faithfulness that he manifests toward his people. His goodness toward Israel should inspire admiration and enthusiastic praise among foreigners, who are simply witnesses of his wonders (see Sir 36:1-4; Ezek 36).
Since God’s kindness and faithfulness are manifested much more forcefully in the life of the Church than in the history of Israel, all people should on that account give more enthusiastic praise to the heavenly Father. Enabling his Son to vanquish his enemies (the devil and death), the Father fills him with divine riches (eternal life in glory, joy, peace, beatitude, royalty). And he has done the same for the Church and her members. Praise of God is to be unanimous (see Rom 15:11).
- Psalm 117:1 All nations and peoples are called to praise the Lord (see Pss 47:1; 67:4-6; 96:7; 98:4; 100:1-3; see also note on Ps 9:2). This verse is cited in Rom 15:11.
- Psalm 117:2 Universal praise is owed to the Lord because of his fidelity to his people. He has shown them constant kindness and faithfulness, that is, faithful love. Indeed, his love is not only great in depth and height (see Rom 5:20; 1 Tim 1:14) but also lasting (see Ps 89:29); see also note on Ps 6:5. In Christ, the love of God has been even more powerfully shown both to Jews and to Gentiles so that all might praise him for it (see Rom 15:8ff). Alleluia: i.e., “Hallelujah” or “Bless [or praise] the Lord”; the Septuagint and Vulgate add this line to open Ps 118.