Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war,
and my fingers for battle;
my rock and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues the peoples under me.
O Lord, what are human beings that you regard them,
or mortals that you think of them?
They are like a breath;
their days are like a passing shadow.
Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down;
touch the mountains so that they smoke.
Make the lightning flash and scatter them;
send out your arrows and rout them.
Stretch out your hand from on high;
set me free and rescue me from the mighty waters,
from the hand of aliens,
whose mouths speak lies,
and whose right hands are false.
I will sing a new song to you,
O God; upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,
the one who gives victory to kings,
who rescues his servant David.
Rescue me from the cruel sword,
and deliver me from the hand of aliens,
whose mouths speak lies, and whose right hands are false.
May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars, cut for the building of a palace.
May our barns be filled, with produce of every kind;
may our sheep increase by thousands,
by tens of thousands in our fields,
and may our cattle be heavy with young.
May there be no breach in the walls, no exile,
and no cry of distress in our streets.
Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
happy are the people whose God is the Lord.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
My brother had two nicknames. The first came from our father who, when he first saw him as an infant, said, “He’s a big boy.” So my brother was Big Boy Dillon to everyone in the neighborhood. Even in his adulthood, neighbors referred to him as “Big Boy,” as if they didn’t know his given name was Jim. But he had a second nickname which he got from some of his friends when he was a teenager. To them, he was “Rock,” This was not meant as a term of praise. They gave him the name to describe how they saw him dive into the water when they went swimming – no grace or style, just like a rock slamming into the water.
In the psalm today God is described as a rock. And the verses explain that God is a source of strength and stability to those who are warriors and fighters. Except for those in the armed services, most of us are not warriors or fighters. Then how is God your rock? If you had to write verses for this psalm, how would you describe the circumstances in which God was a rock for you?
—Fr. Dennis Dillon, S.J. serves as pastoral minister at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, MI. He is also an avid stamp collector and accomplished magician.
Lord, may I be strong and of good courage; do not let me fear or be dismayed, for you, my God, are with me wherever I go.
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