The early saints / writers of the Church saw in the psalms a reflection of the human life of Christ. In particular they taught that the psalms of lament were an insight into the Passion. As we enter Holy Week, today’s Psalm 31 from the Office of Readings can be seen as Jesus commending himself to the Father during his final hours. Read it slowly and prayerfully in this light.
In you, O Lord, I take refuge. *
Let me never be put to shame.
In your justice, set me free, *
hear me and speedily rescue me.
Be a rock of refuge for me, *
a mighty stronghold to save me,
for you are my rock, my stronghold. *
For your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.
Release me from the snares they have hidden*
for you are my refuge, Lord.
Into your hands I commend my spirit. *
It is you who will redeem me, Lord.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, *
for I am in distress.
Tears have wasted my eyes, *
my throat and my heart.
For my life is spent with sorrow *
and my years with sighs.
Affliction has broken down my strength *
and my bones waste away.
In the face of all my foes *
I am a reproach,
an object of scorn to my neighbors *
and of fear to my friends.
Those who see me in the street *
run far away from me.
I am like a dead man, forgotten, *
like a thing thrown away.
I have heard the slander of the crowd, *
fear is all around me,
as they plot together against me, *
as they plan to take my life.
But as for me, I trust in you, Lord, *
I say: “You are my God.
My life is in your hands, deliver me *
from the hands of those who hate me.
Let your face shine on your servant. *
Save me in your love.”