Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Psalm for Sunday, September 20, 2015
Psalm 54: 3-4, 5, 6, 8 (Read)
"O God, by your name save me."
The psalm is a prayer sung by David at a time when
he was being hunted by King Saul. David was in
great peril, threatened by the “ruthless.” He says,
“The ruthless seek my life; they set not God before
I may not be threatened by King Saul and his troops,
but I am 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 my proclamations of trust in God, I can sense
the wavering inside of me which besets us all.
Just as David turns to the Lord for protection, so too
should I pray to the Lord to save me. David prays,
”O God, by your name save me.” For me that name
is the name of Jesus. Where else would I turn for a
shield in time of battle? Or a sword in time of peril?
With Christ present as my helper, I can turn back the
evil which lurks within my heart.
David writes about the 'haughty men' who have risen
against him. Am I one of them? Am I one of those
described in this Sunday's first reading who resent
the just one? (Wisdom 2:12) Am I part of the crowd
who condemn Jesus to a shameful death to test if He
is truly the son of God?
Are jealousy and selfish ambition lurking within me,
causing disorder and every foul practice, as St James
warns us in Sunday's second reading? (James 3:16)
Am I like the disciples on that journey with Jesus through
Galilee who were arguing about who is the greatest?
If so, then I too had better call upon the name above all
names to save me, as David does. I had better pray that
I will approach God in proper humility and pray that I shall
'undertake to become the last of all and the servant
of all.' (Gospel, Mark 9:35)
“God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life.”
I had better receive Him;
I had better gain His peace to quiet the battle within.
I had better keep my eyes fixed on the cross;
I 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, external
or 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 physically or spiritually.