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 
their eyes.”

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.


  1. Rudy H4:37 PM

    God is faithful, though men are not to be trusted, and it is well for us it is so. We have no other plea to depend upon than God's name, no other power to depend upon than God's strength.

    Looking at Jesus, betrayed by one of his apostles, what can we expect from any who have not set God before them, save ingratitude, treachery, malice, and cruelty? What bonds of nature, or friendship, or gratitude, or covenant, will hold those that have broken through the fear of God? Let us set God before us at all times; for if we do not, we are in danger of despair.

    The Lord would deliver us out of all our troubles. May he help us to bear our cross without repining, and at length bring us to share his victories and glory.

  2. J Kim4:45 PM

    Whoever said that kids need their parents more, as they grow, not less...is right. I have never been so mentally and emotionally tested by my teenage children's life journeys, as the present.

    My heart aches when my daughter is betrayed by one-time friends who spread false rumors or undermine her at school events. My head spins as my son describes his football injuries or how a teammate belittles him in front of the others. Each case, seemingly small, builds. The cumulative effect of their hurt sends my faith crumbling and makes me feel as if "the ruthless seek my life."

    My children come to me for guidance and wisdom. Where do I go? Straight to my knees in prayer. David's tone changes in the psalm from desperate pleading to a calm confidence. The same is true for me in the act of prayer. I often start in a jumbled mess but thanks to the Spirit's groans, I understand to invite His breath of peace into the conflict.

    Sometimes, the Lord takes longer than I would like with His rescue, or His answer comes in the form of a closed door. Regardless, I return to a place of trust thanks to the mighty name of Jesus.

  3. I encourage all to go see a movie called “WAR ROOM.” It’s playing as a current movie in all the main theaters. Don’t pass it up. It’s not your typical war movie…….it’s about prayer, and it’s very, very powerful. It’s about a family that worships money and is growing apart. Be careful, or you’ll find yourself crying.

  4. Yes, there were times for me that my faith was put in jeopardy, and I was threatened spiritually and physically. In a time of hurt and betrayal by my beloved relatives I called out, "O God, by your name save me."

    My relatives are all so-called faithful Christians, not ruthless women or men. Because of their betrayal, I was in a spiritual battle whether I would forgive and forget the betrayal, or erase them from my life forever. That evil thought lurked within my heart.

    I approached God in humility and prayed that He would help me to forgive them, because I know His way is higher than mine and His way will lead me to Salvation.

    I have overcome what was jeopardizing my faith. By the Grace of Jesus I forgave them. The dark-side that drove me to sin melted away when I turned to God for help. He lifted up my spirit and my life was sustained by the Lord once again. For He delivered me from all my petty troubles.

    His deliverance leads to triumph and victory. Surely He is my help, and by His name I am saved.