Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Psalm for Sunday, September 23, 2012
Psalm 54: 3-4, 5, 6, 8
"The Lord upholds my life."
The psalm is a prayer sung by David
at a time when he was being hunted
by King Saul. David was in great peril
at the time, threatened by the “ruthless.”
He says, “The ruthless seek my life;
they set not God before their eyes.”
We may not be threatened
by King Saul and his troops,
but we are surely under threat by satan
and his band of fallen angels.
And where does the threat come from?
Is it from outside? Or is it from within?
For all our proclamations of trust in God,
we can sense the wavering which besets us all.
Are we perhaps a 'Judas' ourselves?
Have we betrayed Christ? Do we?
Just as David turns to the Lord for protection,
so too should we pray to the Lord to save us.
David sings, ”O God, by your name save me.”
For us that name is the name of Jesus.
Where else would we turn for a shield in time of battle?
Or a sword in time of peril?
With Christ present as our helper,
we can turn back the evil which lurks within our hearts.
David writes about the the 'haughty men'
who have risen against him. Are we one of them?
Are we one of those described in Wisdom (1st reading)
who resent the just one? Are we part of the crowd
who condemn Jesus to a shameful death to test
if he is truly the son of God and to let God take care of him?
Are jealousy and selfish ambition lurking within us,
causing disorder and every foul practice,
as St. James warns us in our 2nd reading?
Are we like the disciples on that journey through Galilee
who were arguing about who is the greatest?
If so, then we too had better call upon the name
above all names to save us, as David does.
We had better pray that we will approach God
in proper humility and pray that we shall 'undertake to
become the last of all and the servant of all.' (Gospel)
“God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life.”
We had better receive Him;
we had better gain His peace to quiet the battle within.
We had better keep our eyes fixed on the cross;
we had better be open to rescue and redemption.
Discussion Questions for Reflection
1. Our psalmist is fighting against forces that threaten him;
he says, "The ruthless seek my life." Are you aware of
powerful forces, both external and internal, that put your faith
in jeopardy? Explain.
2. The Psalm says, "The Lord upholds my life." Speak of
how your life is sustained by the Lord when you are under threat
both physically and spiritually.