Psalm for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)

Psalm 71: 1-6, 15-17

This week’s responsorial psalm comes from Psalm 71, a prayer for help in old age. It has links to Psalm 70, but here the main feature is the hope that endures in the psalmist despite his advanced years.

In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.

The psalm begins with a prayer that the psalmist might never be made ashamed of his dependence upon God nor disappointed by his hope in him.

In your justice rescue me, and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are my rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.

Having placed his trust in God, he pleads for God’s help and to be rescued from his enemies.

For you are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth. On you I depend from birth; from my mother’s womb you are my strength.

The psalmist proclaims his confidence in God, acknowledging that God has been his protector since childhood, even at his birth, and throughout his life.

My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.

In an ecstasy of joyful praise, the psalmist promises to bear witness to the amazing things God has done for him.

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