This message was the last one opened (from the Bible) at JtM CPG meeting on Thursday 14 April, 2016, after a Prayer to the Holy Spirit. The theme for the prayers was ‘Protection.”
(NAB) Psalm 38 “Prayer of an afflicted sinner”
1 A psalm of David. For remembrance.
2 Lord, do not punish me in your anger;
in your wrath do not chastise me!
3 Your arrows have sunk deep in me;
your hand has come down upon me.
4 There is no wholesomeness in my flesh because of your anger;
there is no health in my bones because of my sin.
5 My iniquities overwhelm me,
a burden too heavy for me.
6 Foul and festering are my sores
because of my folly.
7 I am stooped and deeply bowed;
every day I go about mourning.
8 My loins burn with fever;
there is no wholesomeness in my flesh.
9 I am numb and utterly crushed;
I wail with anguish of heart.
10 My Lord, my deepest yearning is before you;
my groaning is not hidden from you.
11 My heart shudders, my strength forsakes me;
the very light of my eyes has failed.
12 Friends and companions shun my disease;
my neighbors stand far off.
13 Those who seek my life lay snares for me;
they seek my misfortune, they speak of ruin;
they plot treachery every day.
14 But I am like the deaf, hearing nothing,
like the mute, I do not open my mouth,
15 I am even like someone who does not hear,
who has no answer ready.
16 Lord, it is for you that I wait;
O Lord, my God, you respond.
17 For I have said that they would gloat over me,
exult over me if I stumble.
18 I am very near to falling;
my wounds are with me always.
19 I acknowledge my guilt
and grieve over my sin.
20 My enemies live and grow strong,
those who hate me grow numerous fraudulently,
21 Repaying me evil for good,
accusing me for pursuing good.
22 Do not forsake me, O Lord;
my God, be not far from me!
23 Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my salvation!
It seemed to us that this reading was not only about us, but also the Church – which is enduring its trial and persecution. We wait for the Lord, we call on Him to respond. The church has “numerous enemies” who gloat when it stumbles and falls.
We cannot cry to God for help over our sorry state of the Church and feeling ‘surrounded by enemies’ as David did, and expect God’s help, unless we acknowledge our sins before Him. We deserve much much worse really, than what we are already experiencing!
God listens to the contrite and humble heart. We cannot prepare others for the Warning without looking at ourselves. in the end, David knows his sinful state and is remorseful; never losing sight of his Hope who is God in Whom he trusts and places all his Faith. And we must be the same as David as we feel surrounded by the enemies of the true Faith and the Church.
(Readings are chosen randomly, after the Crusade Prayers, and after a Prayer to the Holy Spirit.)