Psalm 13

Psalm 13

The psalmist is critically ill.  He is desperate, close to despairing.  Has God forgotten him?  It seems that God has hidden himself in some dark corner.  The psalmist feels abandoned.

A further burden is the contempt of his enemies.  They interpret his illness as proof that God doesn’t care.  They have brought the psalmist to a hopeless defeat.  You can almost hear them saying:  “This man is a fool.  What good has his dedication to God done for him?”

The psalmist cries out to God.  He demands that God answer him.  He demands that God give him “light” and not allow him to “sleep in death.”

Suddenly the psalmist emerges from the darkness.  Obviously he is convinced that God has heard his prayer.  Now he trusts in God.  He expects God to gladden his heart and prompt him to sing out:  “How good our God has been to me.”

We can pray this psalm, not only in times of sickness, but also when we are misunderstood, when people are ready to write us off, make fun of our faith in God.  Expressing trust in God may not be easy.  Relief may not come so quickly as it did for the psalmist, but his example may help us hope that God will eventually hear us.

We never read in the Gospels that Jesus ever became sick, but he did have his enemies and they inflicted physical, mental and emotional pain on him.  We think especially of his prayer of agony in the garden, but we also know that he experienced the goodness of his Father in a marvelous way in his resurrection.

******Feature photo: luigi diamanti /


About the Author

Hilarion Kistner, O.F.M., after ordination in 1955, did further studies in Scripture. He taught Scripture to seminarians for 15 years. He has been editor of Sunday Homily Helps for more than 25 years.