For me, today’s Psalm 40 builds as sense of excitement, joy and celebration.

The responsorial psalm is a familiar aspect to Catholic liturgy. It regularly brings these beautiful prayers into each liturgy. The response that each congregant expresses several times at each liturgy fosters our participation and reinforces a key theme from that psalm.

On the other hand, the responses create breaks in the reading of the psalm, cutting into the flow and movement of the prayer. Many people find great spiritual perspective and insight by reading through the psalms. And because many psalms are expressed in the first person, thereby becoming the words of the person making the prayer, they can help us to find words to express in prayer deep and strong feelings such as fear or resentment or anger, as well as joy and trust, gratitude and celebration.

—Fr. Glen Chun, S.J. is a campus ministry chaplain at Loyola University Chicago, IL, as well as the peripatetic minister of the Loyola University Jesuit community.