Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, October 27, 2013


Psalm 34:  2-3, 17-18, 19, 23 (Read)

“Those who are crushed in spirit He saves.”

 David's psalm reassures us,
“The Lord hears the cry of the poor.”
The word poor is said to apply to one
who depends completely on God
for his deliverance and his very life.
This is true for David as he is being
pursued by his enemy.  It is true for us
in our own personal battle against the
evil one.  With God on our side victory
is certain.  “The Lord confronts the
evildoers, to destroy remembrance of them
from the earth.”

St Paul is rescued from the lion's mouth and
is empowered by the Lord to finish the race,
to keep the faith, to complete the proclamation.
In his own words, “The Lord stood by me and
gave me strength.”  (Sunday's 2nd reading)
David affirms this, “The Lord redeems the lives
of His servants; no one incurs guilt who takes
refuge in Him.”

The Psalm says our prayers are heard if we have
a right relationship with the Lord, “When the just
cry out, the Lord hears them.”  This is confirmed
by the writer of Sirach (Sunday's 1st reading) --
“The one who serves God willingly is heard; his
petition reaches the heavens.  The prayer of the lowly
pierces the clouds.”

Jesus teaches us in this Sunday’s Gospel, “The one
who humbles himself will be exalted.”   The tax
collector preserves his relationship with God and
goes home justified.  That too is part of being poor
in spirit.   If we want the Lord to be on our side,
then we need to humble ourselves and recognize
our own lowly status.

And having done all that we can to keep a just
relationship with our God, then we are to bless the
Lord at all times, keep his praise ever in our mouths,
and as the psalm says, “Let my soul glory in the Lord.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm tells us that God lifts up those who are crushed

in spirit.   However difficult it may be for us to be humble in spirit, 
we can speak of how gratifying it is for us to depend solely on
the Lord for our salvation.   Tell of what this means to you personally.

2.   The verses of the Psalm tell us how to be sure that our prayers 

are heard.  Our psalmist encourages us to have a right relationship 
with the Lord before we pray.  What is it that you do to be sure that 
your prayers reach the ears of the Lord?


  1. Marie6:39 PM

    Beautiful reflection. He surely does hear the cry of the poor. God is so good to us. He hears every prayer and answers only what is the very best for us.

  2. Jaiun5:14 PM

    Over and over this week, I am hearing of the power of prayer. And the power of prayer from whom? A righteous man... or a man with a "right relationship," a just relationship with the Lord. The message of this Psalm, written hundreds of years B.C., is echoed throughout the Old and New Testaments. I personally love the connection to James 5:16. I especially appreciate the Amplified Bible translation: Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. It bears repeating that tremendous power is available from the earnest power of a "righteous" man. How do we become righteous? It says in the first part of this verse that we must confess our sins and "act in a morally correct manner; correct by divine declaration" as stated in my Biblical Dictionary. The element of confession of sin first... is surely a tool to keep our hearts humble as we pray. Secondly, we must pray for others. We must have the heart that allows the needs of someone else to be lifted up before ours. Then, we are assured that our own petitions are not only heard, but reach the "ears of the Lord." His tremendous and powerful answer isn't always what we think is best, but we can have faith that He responds with what He knows is best.

  3. "How gratifying it is for us to depend on the Lord for our salvation." I, and I think most of us, depend on the Lord as the final problem solver, after we have tried to deal with the problem ourselves. But maybe, we ought to be going to the Good Lord much sooner! It's much easier to deal with a problem on the front end than on the tail end...and I would think this applies to even the Good Lord Himself.

  4. God lifts up those who are crushed in spirit.--" Those who are crushed in spirit He saves."

    Quite often, my sins caused me to feel guilty, ashamed, and disqualified whenever I tried to open my heart to God's healing and forgiveness. Sometimes I want to hide from God. I was not humble in spirit. All I know is that God is eager to heal me, to soothe my pain and to free me from evil out of His love and compassion. He is neither judging me nor condemning me. He is waiting for me to have a right relationship with Him and faith in Him completely. And also He knows what is the best for each of us, for our salvation, even if our prayers don't reach the ears of the Lord at this moment. I believe like the Psalmist told us that God hears the cry of the poor and those who are crushed in spirit He delivers them in the end. Look to God that you may be radiant with joy and to fill you with God's grace.