Psalm 36

Psalm 36

The first 10 verses of this psalm are a meditation.  The author observes both the wicked and the good.  He considers their relationship to God.

Sin gets into the heart of the wicked and drives God out of their lives.  They have no fear (or reverence) for God.  God means nothing to them.  Far from appreciating that God cares about them, they prefer to go their own “wicked way.”  They even “hatch plots” in their bed at night.

Now the psalmist addresses God directly:  “LORD, your love reaches to heaven. . . . . How precious is your love, O God!”  The people “ take refuge in the shadow of your wings,” probably an allusion to the winged cherubim bending over the ark of the covenant.  Here we might think of the wondrous presence of Christ in our tabernacles.

God also shows his love when people feast on the rich food of his house and slake their thirst on the water God provides for them.  Here we can think of the rich food and drink we enjoy in the Eucharist.

The final verses beg for God’s continuing kindness toward those who pray to him.  While the psalmist prays that the wicked be thrust down, we, as Christians, might rather pray for their conversion.


Photo credit: Gina Sanders/PhotoXpress


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.