Psalm 38

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In all the Psalms of petition, but especially those on the brink of despair while alienated from God;  are all on the lips of Jesus. He speaks for us, with us, as one of us. St. Augustine teaches us to pray the Psalms as those caught up in Jesus’ prayer and He in ours. The cross and resurrection are the life of the whole Christ; what goes for Jesus goes also for His Body, the church. This means that in our loneliness, abandonment, suffering, and even death, Christ is there with us and we are with Him, and we are in solidarity with each other.  Pope St. John Paul II often repeated a quote from Vatican II that in his incarnation Christ identified with each one of us in a personal way. While on earth, when we pray(sing) the psalms, Jesus is praying with us. When we sing any of the Psalms we should imagine Christ leading us in the Psalms. In this Psalm, Jesus is in solidarity with a seriously ill dying person, who comes to confess his sins and pleads for God’s mercy. In the last two strophes, Jesus is praying for himself and all who are being persecuted for righteousness' sake. He leads us to pray for those of us suffering from addiction, despair(suicide), or violence in any situation be it domestic violence, or in Ukraine, Haiti, Palestine/Israel, etc, Then he leads us to some specific action we can take to alleviate some of the suffering.

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger; *
do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Your arrows have sunk deep in me; *
your hand has come down upon me.

Through your anger all my body is sick: *
through my sin, there is no health in my limbs.
My guilt towers higher than my head; *
it is a weight too heavy to bear.

My wounds are foul and festering, *
the result of my own folly.
I am bowed and brought to my knees. *
I go mourning all the day long.

All my frame burns with fever; *
all my body is sick.
Spent and utterly crushed, *
I cry aloud in anguish of heart.

O Lord, you know all my longing: *
my groans are not hidden from you.
My heart throbs, my strength is spent; *
the very light has gone from my eyes.

But I am like the deaf who cannot hear, *
like the dumb unable to speak.
I am like a man who hears nothing, *
in whose mouth is no defense.

I count on you, O Lord: *
it is you, Lord God, who will answer.
I pray: “Do not let them mock me, *
those who triumph if my foot should slip.”

For I am on the point of falling *
and my pain is always before me.
I confess that I am guilty *
and my sin fills me with dismay.

My wanton enemies are numberless *
and my lying foes are many.
They repay me evil for good *
and attack me for seeking what is right.

O Lord, do not forsake me! *
My God, do not stay afar off!
Make haste and come to my help, *
O Lord, my God, my savior!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be forever. Amen.
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