Psalm 26

Psalm 26

This is the prayer of a saint. He claims to be without blame. He does everything God wants him to do. He is faithful to the covenant. He acknowledges that he can take no credit for himself when he says: “[R]edeem me; be gracious to me!”

As we pray this psalm, we begin to realize that the psalmist is in the temple. Perhaps he is a priest: “I will wash my hands in innocence and walk around your altar, LORD.” Older Catholics will recognize that priests prayed this psalm when they washed their hands at the Offertory of the Mass.

This prayer fits perfectly into the mouth of Jesus. He is the faithful one, totally innocent in the eyes of his Father. However, there is a different twist in the life of Jesus. The Old Testament psalmist seems confident that God will protect him from the violent. Jesus will give his life even to those who put him to death. But we do remember that violence did not have the last word. His Father would raise him from the dead.

Few of us would lay claim to innocence as does this psalmist. However, because Jesus joins himself to us in prayer, we realize that we are acceptable to our loving God.


Photo by:
Mele Avery


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.