Archive for May 6th, 2019

Psalm 102: Distress

Monday, May 6, 2019

“The psalmist, experiencing psychic and bodily disintegration (4-12), cries out to God (1-3).  In the temple precincts where God has promised to be present, the psalmist recalls God’s venerable promises to save the poor (13-23).  The final part (24-29) restates the original complaint and prayer, and emphasizes God’s eternity”.  (Senior 715)

Easter Sunday has passed but if we observe Easter as a liturgical event, we are reminded that Easter itself lasts for seven days, and the Easter Season for fifty days.  This makes it the longest celebration of the year . . . and we need it, as our psalm today reminds us.  Even though we have just witnessed the Resurrection as evidence of the fact that God keeps his promises, we who are poor in spirit and strength need an Easter Monday reminder that God saves.

God has shattered my strength in mid-course, has cut short my days.  I plead, O my God . . .

The joy of Easter brightens our days temporarily; the pain of our suffering still gnaws at us, refusing to let loose its grip.  The psalmist reminds God that we suffer . . . even as we await redemption and rescue.

Lord, hear my prayer; let my cry come unto you.  Do not hide your face from me now that I am in distress.  Turn your rear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.

Often we feel that doing the work named for us brings us more pain and less understanding than we can bear; we drift while others celebrate.  We await the time of joy for all.

All my day long my enemies taunt me; in their rage, they make my name a curse . . . Because of your furious wrath, you lifted me up just to cast me down.  My days are like the lengthening shadow; I wither like the grass.

At these times of disintegration, as in all times, when others celebrate yet we feel as though we watch through a thick plate of glass, we turn to God, asking his help.

But you, Lord, are enthroned forever; your renown is for all generations.  You will again show mercy . . .

We are about to enter the third week of Easter joy so let us remember those who still feel left behind, and let us gather them into the fold where all peoples and kingdoms gather to worship the Lord [whose] years last through all generations. 

When we feel that we are disintegrating while all around us in coming together, let us call out to our maker and ask that he change all hearts, our own and those of our enemies.  May he soften our hearts of stone, may he warm our hearts that are cold, may he change our hearts that feel his absence and yearn for his radiant presence, may he rescue us and keep us in his everlasting presence: Of old you laid the earth’s foundations; the heavens are the work of your hands.  They perish, but you remain; they all wear out like a garment; like clothing you change them and they are changed, but you are the same, your years have no end.

A re-post from April 21, 2012.

Image from: http://www.tariqweb.com/awesome-hearts-by-the-nature-32-pics/awesome-hearts-in-nature-18/

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.715. Print.   

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