INTROITUS: 3rd Sunday of Lent

Oculi mei semper ad Dominum, quia ipse evellet de laqueo pedes meos: respice in me, et miserere mei, quoniam unicus et pauper sum ego.

“My eyes are always upon the Lord, for he freed my feet from the snare. Look upon me, and have mercy on me, for I am alone and poor.” (Ps 25(24):15–16)

There is a very typical pattern in Gregorian melodies: When a human orients himself toward God, the melody goes from bottom to top, and when God gives something to a human, the melody goes from top to bottom.

We find the same here: Oculi mei (“my eyes”) lets the melody span a fifth upwards, like eyes moving toward heaven, and evellet de laqueo pedes meorum (“he freed my feet from the snare”) moves downward, like a deus ex machina in a drama who helpfully comes from heaven onto the earth.

Indeed: Without God we are nothing but “alone and poor,” but with God we can have help and dignity.

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