Psalm 116: 10, 15, 16-17, 18-19 (Read)
“ I believed, even when I said, I am greatly afflicted.”
This Sunday's Psalm recalls words Abraham might have
prayed when he was called on to sacrifice his son Isaac.
“I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving; I will pay my vows to
the Lord.” Who else could have kept the faith at a time like that?
Yet Abraham’s devotion to the Lord did not waver. (Genesis 22:10-12)
We may not be called upon to offer up so heavy a sacrifice,
but we are commanded to listen to God’s son, and to imitate Him.
Abraham may have used words like those of our psalmist,
“I believed even when I said, ‘I am greatly afflicted.'”
God relented and provided a substitute for Isaac,
“Too costly in the eyes of the Lord is the death of the faithful.”
But God did not spare His own son, as St Paul reminds us in
Sunday's 2nd reading. (Romans 8:32)
And for whom did God sacrifice His son Jesus? It was for us
that God handed over His beloved Son. Jesus’ death on the
cross has given us life. As people of faith we are chosen by God
for life. We pray that we are not put to the test as Abraham was,
but we might at least, as the Psalm says, “Pay our vows to the
Lord in the presence of all His people.”
The psalmist says, “O Lord, I am your servant; you have loosed
my bonds.” We too are made free by becoming the Lord's servant.
That is how it is when we follow His commandments and do His will.
It is not something that binds us. Rather, it is something that sets us free.
We take delight in serving the Lord.
Discussion Questions for Reflection
1. Our psalmist speaks of the power of his faith, even in the darkest of times,
"I believed, even when I said, 'I am greatly afflicted.'" Give an example of
how your faith has strengthened you in difficult times.
2. The Psalm says, 'O Lord, I am your servant; you have loosed my bonds.'
Explain how it is that, having been freed from your chains, you wish to serve
the Lord and become yoked to Him.