Unless one reads the Liturgy of the Hours this psalm may be heard once or twice during the Liturgy of the Word. Since the prayers within the Mass are directed to the Father singing them is the proper manner to vocalize these prayers. And as with all the psalms they are meant to be sung as wonderful antiphons to the Father.
Psalm 95 is among those psalms considered Hymns and are an expression of praise to our mighty God who is creator of everything. The praise of God found in the Hymns is more general than the praise found at the end of laments or in the psalms of thanksgiving and confidence. (cf the revised edition of “The Psalms” according to the New American Bible”)
However, if one listens with a keen sense of interest to the words, the deeper meaning of Psalm 95 assigns a comprehensive understanding of the Incarnation followed by the three years of Jesus’ ministry. And this period of time completes the event on Calvary.
In spite of the sins of David (see 2 Samuel 11 ff) as the Prophet Nathan confronted David regarding an analogy about a rich man who took the ewe lamb of a poor man for an offering in place of his own flocks. Hearing this David became angry saying; “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this merits death! He shall restore the ewe lamb four-fold because he has done this and has had no pity.” Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man!” Now, the Lord was angry with David, but in spite of this sin we are reminded that God does not withdraw his promises. “And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. From Samuel and following the Messiah would come fulfilling prophecy. The promise to David would would bring about our Savior Jesus Christ. (see 2 Samuel 7: 8 ff).
Different characterizations as to the many sins or rejection of Jesus make us wonder at the acceptance of God with our sinfulness and still blesses us. David sinned by adultery and murder, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times, Thomas doubted him, and Judas betrayed Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Psalm 51, David’s confession for mercy fits each of us.
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people and set them free.”
“He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David.”
God has come to set us free when we were bound by our sins.
“Through his holy prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us.”
He would protect us from the evil purveyors who seek our souls.
“He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant.”
His promise of mercy would last through eternity.
“This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham; to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.”
“You my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.”
Through knowledge of salvation we would receive forgiveness of our own sins.
“In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
From darkness through the signs of death we will be guided into the peace of God.
You shall give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins! This is the real understanding of the very purpose the Father sent His only Begotten Son as a man to teach and die in order that all of the sin of the world could be expiated, preparing the way to his Father. If no other words can be remembered, this is the real truth of the Incarnation through the Ascension that ties our very souls to God the Father.
Ralph B. Hathaway, Psalm 95; 2021