Monday, February 23, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, March 1, 2015


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.



  1. Rudy H9:03 PM

    When troubled, we do best to hold our peace, for we are apt to speak unadvisedly. Yet there may be true faith where there are workings of unbelief; but then faith will prevail; and being humbled for our distrust of God's word, we shall experience His faithfulness to it. What can the pardoned sinner, or what can those who have been delivered from trouble or distress, render to the Lord for His benefits? We cannot in any way profit Him. Our best is unworthy of His acceptance; yet we ought to devote ourselves and all we have to His service.

    Doing good is sacrifice, with which God is well pleased; and this must accompany giving thanks to His name. Why should we offer that to the Lord which cost us nothing? The psalmist will pay his vows now; he will not delay the payment: publicly, not to make a boast, but to show he is not ashamed of God's service, and to invite others to join him. Such are true saints of God, in whose lives and deaths He will be glorified.

    I don’t believe that Psalm 116 is read as testimony to what God has done in the past so much as it gives hope for deliverance in the future. The psalm's images of death now apply to the coming suffering of Jesus. The celebration after deliverance draws us into the suffering of Jesus as His offering to God and to us. Jesus himself has become a sacrifice and we now benefit from His faithfulness to God.

  2. I have a tough time with this. I can’t believe that God would ask you to kill your son or daughter.

    This is certainly a leap of faith for all of us that are trying to do the right thing.

  3. When Abraham was called on to sacrifice his son Isaac, his devotion and faith in God did not waver. How many of us could have kept the faith by obeying God's command, especially to sacrifice a personal precious son? My response will be, "Oh no God!" My faith is not good enough or strong enough to obey you; my faith will waver in times of affliction. I do not want my faith to be put to the test by God. You see!

    But God himself handed over His Son Jesus. His death on the cross has given us life-- eternal life. What a merciful God He is!

    If we serve the Lord faithfully, He provides us the way, and we find the way in times of distress. He sets us free from all the bonds and chains.

    He has strengthened my faith to make me know His unconditional love for us human beings. Furthermore, in times of trial, I confess my wrongdoings and my sinful behavior, and I lament about my sin with a contrite heart. He lifts me up. And also He blesses me with peace. In this way my faith is growing; I am becoming a better Christian.