Psalm 114 (116): 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
“He has freed my soul from death.”
It is said that Jesus sang this prayer
on the night He was betrayed, and
went to His death with these words
on His lips.
The psalm is a simple prayer of thanks
to God that the psalmist might have
used after escape from the “snares of
the netherworld,” as he called upon God,
“O Lord save my life!”
But unlike the psalmist, our Savior
does not ask to escape death; instead He
begins to teach the disciples (in the Gospel)
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and
be killed. Jesus summons the crowd
and begins to preach on the redemptive
value of His death, saying that 'whoever
loses his life for my sake will save it.'
Once this psalm becomes the prayer of
Our Lord on the night of his Passion,
it says to us believers that there is hope
that we too will “walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.”
The prophet Isaiah (in our 1st reading)
reminds us that the suffering servant
is not disgraced, is not put to shame.
It is that same spirit of defiance in the
face of death that empowers the suffering
servant to set his face like flint, knowing
that the Lord God is his help.
Because we are little and “brought low,”
we depend on our God to “incline His ear”
to us when we call. We cannot raise up
ourselves; we are at the mercy of God's grace.
We cannot become divine, and therefore
God in His love for us became like us
and inclined Himself to our humanity
For this we are grateful, and we join with
the psalmist who celebrates as we do,
“For the Lord has freed my soul from death.”
Discussion Questions for Reflection
1. Our psalmist says that the "Lord has freed my soul from death."
Speak about how the Lord has worked in your life to give you hope
that you are saved and raised you up away from the "cords of death."
2. The Psalm says, "The Lord keeps the little ones."
Are you one of His 'little ones?' Explain how by humbling yourself
you have a better chance of being pleasing in the eyes of God.