Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Lectionary Reflection Year B, Palm Sunday, Psalm (The Liturgy of the Word)

Psalm 22: Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help (vs 11)

Reflection on Psalm 22: by Nan Stokes

So much of this psalm seems to be a portent and prediction of what will happen to the Son of God as he suffers on the cross of crucifixion. This day we read the verse which says, "All who see me laugh me to scorn," but the later verses are not included. This means that, as the psalm turns to praise of God, we don't have the opportunity to follow the psalmist into that awareness of God's love and protection. When Jesus hung on the cross in anguish and unbelievable pain, was he crying out to God that he felt forsaken? This psalm was an ancient lament which Jewish people recited when they prayed for deliverance from mortal illness. God's help in the past inspires the prayer that His help will continue in the present time. Certainly Jesus knew that God was not far from him and would hear his lament. Just now as we begin the darkest days of Lent and look forward to the joy and light of Easter, we know that God is ever with us, protecting and loving us and an ever present help in our times of trouble.

To Reflections on other Readings for this Sunday:
Old Testament Isaiah 45:21-25 or 52:13-53:12
Psalm 22
this page
New Testament Philippians 2:5-11
Gospel Mark (14:32-72) 15:1-39 (40-49)

Nan Stokes is an active member of St. Edward the Confessor Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN. She originally wrote this reflection in 2000. Nan and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Nan Stokes or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
MEESC Holy Trinity Church Box 65 Elk River, MN 55330-0065 USA

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