Music-List Mondays: Be Glad (GIA)

Music-List Mondays: Where VibrantCatholic chooses a song and talks about it.

Song of the week: Be Glad (GIA)

by David Haas, with others such as Marty Haugen, Lori True, Tony Alonso, Michael Joncas, Paul Tate, Ricky Manalo, etc.

Listen to the song here!!

Let me just tell you the first time I heard this was in my high school liturgical choir. And the mass we were going to sing it for? Mass on the feast day of St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions, who are Vietnamese martyrs.

Some of the lyrics that stuck out:

“This is my servant, my soul’s delight.” I can’t tell. Who are we even referring to at this point??

“The earth and sky tremble, but the Lord God will defend his people. I am going to bless you till you’re satisfied. Overflowing in abundance, my people will never be despised.” Wait…so why is there suddenly a change in the POV. You really shouldn’t just change from third person to first person. Also, what is the meaning behind emphasizing that the children of God will never be “despised.” 

Anyways, let’s get into the actual review:

Well, my school chose to sing this on the Vietnamese martyrs feast day. As a Vietnamese American, how do you think I felt having to sing this during the mass with our campus ministry leader telling us to smile during the song. There’s something utterly wrong in one of the messages, and it seems as if the writers forgot some important bible verses,

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” John 15:18

“If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also” John 15:20

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12

Those are only a few verses on persecution, so why is a main message that those who believe in Christ will never be persecuted. As a Vietnamese-Catholic, who’s ancestry and ethnic people who have encountered the hardships of Christian persecution, there is no way I agree with this message that the song has portrayed. Christians are still being persecuted in places all over the world, it has not stopped.

I don’t understand the reasoning behind choosing this song especially for such a memorable feast day, a feast day honoring those that had died for their faith. I don’t think the people that chose to use the song at my school thought through the meaning, and instead probably thought “this is such an upbeat song, the youth will surely love it.” Wrong. I despised it, and no, the whole “smile everyone!” thing didn’t help me feel that better, either.

Change in point of view during the song, why?!? Not only why, but when is it ever right to put words in God’s mouth and pretend that’s okay. I’m pretty sure there’s never a time for that. As for the first line I mentioned, the servant should only be referred to Christ, it should not imply the entire Church. Also, they wrote in God’s voice saying that he will bless “you, until you’re satisfied.”

It seems as if they’re glossing over the fact that Christians are persecuted and despised to this day still. I am still unsure of the entire meaning of the song, it tells the listener to “be glad,” but am I supposed to be glad when I know that there’s still ways I can improve in? It gives the listener thoughts that they’re good enough, that they don’t need to change, and that God’s already pleased with how we are at this point. But, we aren’t perfect, we need to keep improving, our faith cannot just stop at this point when we think we’re ‘good enough.’

Although I have a lot of problems with it being used for a mass on feast day of martyrs, I also do not like the music style and do not it’s appropriate for mass…in other words, the electric guitar and upbeat rhythm do not appeal to me.

So that’s it for this Music-List Mondays!


2 thoughts on “Music-List Mondays: Be Glad (GIA)

  1. “This is my servant, my soul’s delight.” – Isaiah 42:1. The Prophet Isaiah is prophesying about who would later be the fulfillment of the verse, Jesus Christ. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mt. 3:17)

    I understand your critique of the song, and I don’t think having a preference is a bad thing at all. However, I would add that once we try to find errors, faults, and inadequacies in that which we observe, we lose sight of Christ; we have the choice of seeing the things of the world that the Lord places in front of us all as gift and grace, or as that which we can critique and nitpick apart. Having been in the position of judgement toward the post Vatican-II era of Marty Haugen Mass settings and Life Teen musicals happening in Churches across the U.S., I find consolation in knowing that it’s all about Christ; not about my preferences.

    Please pray for me, and know that I will be praying for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment! 🙂 I will also keep you in my prayers.
      I just wanted to say that I understood there was scriptural reference of some of the verses, but they were talking about Christ, not about us, which is what the song seemed to have implied. I didn’t really think of these things during the mass, but I had realized these things a few days later, so they didn’t necessarily distract me from the focus on Christ during the mass.
      I don’t usually mean to criticize, but lately I should admit I’ve been doing it more often. Like today I observed people holding hands immediately as the Our Father was being prayed during a prayer service, and it seems as if that’s just what we do when we hear the Our Father, the first thought isn’t to actually pray. Obviously, it should not be about us, but about God, and I totally agree. Thank you for the advice on keeping a clearer sight of God, I will try to see things more positively!


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