Monday, March 28, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, April 3, 2016


Psalm 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24  (Read)

“I was hard pressed and falling, 
 but the Lord came to me as savior.” 


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 with His plan to save us.
Jesus’ risen presence among us is living
proof of God’s enduring love. Our psalmist
assures us, “God’s mercy endures forever.”

We may be hard pressed and falling, or
we may be spiritually sick and weakened
by sin. Are we really any different from those
Dr Luke speaks of in today's 1st reading,
any less desperate or in need of the Lord's
healing power and presence in our lives?
(Acts 5:15-16)

Fortunately the Lord comes to us as Savior,
as our psalmist says. And the Lord is present
to us when we are frightened, as He was present
to those frightened disciples in the upper room.
(John 20:19-21)
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
the psalmist speaks of is available to us –
all we have to do is believe and open our hearts
to receive his saving grace.

As the psalmist says, the Lord is our strength.
He is present to us, just as He was in those early
days of the church described in today's 1st reading
and in today's Gospel of St John.
We may not have the awesome experience 
Thomas had 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.”  The verses of 
the Psalm confirm that we are on firm ground after all.

When Thomas put his fingers into the Lord's side,
it was clearly a moment of epiphany for Thomas
and for us as well. Thomas was struck with awe, 
and came to believe in the risen Lord. What does 
it take for us, though we have not seen, to get down 
on our knees and say, “My Lord and my God.”
(John 20: 24-28)

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.

Only the Lord could have done this remarkable
thing.  As the Psalm says, “By the Lord has this 
been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.” This is 
cause for rejoicing -- “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.  Have you ever been 'hard pressed and falling,' as was our psalmist?   
Describe how the Lord has been your strength and courage in times of trouble.

2.  As the Psalm says, 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.'   Speak of how our Savior has become the rock you can rely on in your life.


  1. Rudy H5:52 PM

    Jesus Christ is risen. And in Christ, we too shall rise. God's steadfast love endures forever! The words of Psalm 118 have long been used to herald Easter. "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!" (118:24).

    Just as the Psalmist was delivered by God, so now Christ empowers us, comforts us, and snatches us out of the realm of death. All this is done so that we might proclaim the deeds of the Lord. Easter is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

  2. Christ came to earth to save us all from death and sin and to free us. I believe in the power of love.

    When I feel spiritually sick and my faith is weakened by sin, Jesus approaches me as my Savior in the time of doubt. He arose from death to prove his risen presence by the way He showed his wounds and nail marks to Thomas. I have come to believe He surely will raise me up and save me from death. And so Jesus has become a source of strength as a cornerstone for me.

    I believe in God's eternal love for me, which gives me security in time of chaos and confusion. Because his risen presence is among us, the joyful shout of victory is heard everywhere.

  3. Minn M4:34 PM

    There have numerous times I have relied on our Lord to be my rock, my strength and courage. When my son was dealing with depression, my husband and I relied heavily on our Lord to give our son strength to overcome his battle, and during that time our Lord was our rock, giving us the strength we needed to get through the difficult times. Without our Lord by our side and family prayers, we would not have survived this difficult situation.

    Currently, I am relying on our Lord to get me through the next stage in my life as my boys will be leaving for college and we will be empty nesters. When I think of how lonely and sad I will be, I turn my thoughts to God and feel reassured that He will be there guiding and helping me through the difficult times I may have. I have a tendency to worry a lot about whether they will be alright on their own. I put my trust in God, and He gives me the strength I need to relax and trust that He will take care of things.

    Thank you Lord for always being there for me. Praise the Lord, for He is my rock and salvation.