Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Psalm for Sunday, April 27, 2014
Psalm 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24 (Read)
“I was hard pressed and was falling,
but the Lord came to my help.”
Once again we visit this powerful psalm of praise
and thanksgiving. This time the verses stress
the enduring love that God has for us – so much so
that despite the part we played in crucifying His son,
God went ahead and carried out His plan to save us.
“God’s mercy endures forever.”
“I was hard pressed and falling, but the Lord came
to my help.” This verse could be about us. Are we
any different from our psalmist, any less desperate
or in need of the Lord's healing power and presence
in our lives?
“My strength and my courage is the Lord.” He is
present to us, just as He was in those early days of the
church described in today's 1st reading (Acts 2: 42-47),
and in the Gospel (John 20: 19-31). We may not have
the awesome experience of physically putting our hand
in the Lord’s side and our fingers into the nail marks
on His hand, but He is with us.
We are victorious over death. The Lord’s deliverance
is cause for joy. Just when we were down, the Lord raises
us up. “I was hard pressed and falling, but the Lord has
been my Savior.” The joyful shout of victory is heard.
We are on firm ground after all – Christ has become our
cornerstone, as our psalmist reminds us. Christ has become
a source of strength for us, despite His apparent weakness
that day on the cross, when He died a shameful death.
The Lord is present to us when we are frightened as He
was present to those frightened disciples in the upper room.
Who would have been more hard pressed and falling
than they were before Jesus appeared to them and blessed them
and extended His peace to them? That same source of strength
and might the psalmist speaks of is available to us; all we have
to do is open our hearts and receive His saving grace.
As St Peter tells us in today's 2nd reading (1 Peter 1: 3-9), Christ’s
resurrection gives us a living hope and a powerful faith. This is
cause for rejoicing: “By the Lord has this been done; it is
wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made.”
Along with the disciples and the early church, “Let us be glad
and rejoice in it.”
Discussion Questions for Reflection
1. Our psalmist was 'hard pressed and falling,' but affirms that
the Lord has been his savior. Describe how you have been
saved by the Lord and given strength and courage by Him.
2. The Psalm declares, "The joyful shout of victory is heard."
Speak of what makes you joyful during this Easter season, and
tell of how you have shouted and rejoiced in the Lord's resurrection.