The praise of God which the psalmist offers in the third section of Psalm 22 is both exuberant and universal.  The trials  from which he was rescued have become the starting point for an act of thanksgiving that reaches far beyond the boundaries of one man, one community, or one nation.  The final strophes of Psalm 22 exemplify how the psalms recall the saving events of the past, yet extend into the future, even to the end of history. (CATECHISM 2586)

 

            And it all begins with the heartfelt acknowledgment of what God did for one man – ultimately, the one Man who is Jesus Christ.  It is on the lips of the risen Savior that we begin to understand what God did on Calvary: For He has never despised nor scorned the poverty of the poor.  From him He has not hidden His Face, but He heard the poor man when he cried.  By God’s power, the Poor Man who died crucified and abandoned was raised to new life, glorious and triumphant over sin and death.

 

One of the finest fruits of faith is the ability to see God at work.  Now I know the Lord sent His angel to rescue me, St. Peter exclaimed after his miraculous escape from  prison. (cf. Acts 12:11)  The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, St. Paul declared, describing his defense before the powers of this world. (2 Timothy 3:17) Our Lady proclaimed in similar terms God’s intervention in her life: He who is mighty has done great things for me! (Luke 1:49)

 

You who fear the Lord, give Him praise!  St. Francis of Assisi wove this verse of Psalm 22 into his EXHORTATION TO THE PRAISE OF GOD.  The Little Poor Man, too, could look back on a lifetime of God’s saving, guiding, and enlightening action.  In his TESTAMENT, St. Francis enumerates the things the Lord had done for him: The Lord led me among [the lepers]; the Lord gave me such faith in churches; the Lord gave me brothers; the Lord showed me what I should do. 

 

Psalm 22 is an invitation to believe that God hears and that God acts – and to be willing to recognize, rejoice and proclaim His saving work in the little and large events of life.  There is no need to wait:  this very day offers us myriad opportunities to step back in prayer, praise and wonder, to see with the eyes of faith how strongly and tenderly and providentially God has arranged the details of this day and so declare with the psalmist: These things the Lord has done!




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Psalm 22

 

III

 

 

 

 

 “You who

fear the Lord,

give Him praise;

all sons of Jacob, give Him glory.

Revere Him, Israel’s sons!

 For He has never despised

nor scorned the

poverty of the poor.

From him

He has not hidden His Face,

but He heard

the poor man when he cried.”

  You are my praise

in the great assembly.

My vows I will pay

before those who fear Him.

  The poor shall eat

and shall have their fill.

They shall praise the Lord,

those who seek Him.

May their hearts live

forever and ever!

  All the earth shall remember and return to the Lord,

all families of the nations

worship before Him.

For the Kingdom

is the Lord’s;

He is ruler of the nations.

 They shall worship Him,

all the mighty of the earth;

before Him shall bow

all who go down to the dust.

 And my soul

shall live for Him,

my children serve Him.

They shall tell of the Lord

to generations yet to come,

 declare His faithfulness

 

 

The Lord Has Done This


PART 28