Day 140: David's Prayer of Thanksgiving

2 Samuel 22:1-51 David prayed an extended psalm of praise similar to the working of Psalm 18 and parts of Psalm 144. It functioned as both a summary of David’s life and, at the same time, reiterated some key themes, namely that blessing and salvation come through fidelity to God’s covenant and the Mosaic Law. (CCC 2585-2589, 2596-2597)

Psalm 41 This psalm is somewhat reminiscent of Job, whose misfortune and illness motivated his friends to come visit him not so much to comfort him as to pass a negative judgement on him. At that time, sickness was closely linked with sin: if a person was sick, the conclusion was that he or she must have sinned. Thus, the sickness served not only as a chastisement but also as a call to repentance. The cry of the sick for healing in the first stanza expresses the sentiment of contrition and desire for forgiveness. Although we know that there is no necessary connection between sin and physical or mental illness, every mode of suffering can be a means of great spiritual benefit. Suffering “can conceal a secret value and become a path of purification, interior liberation and enrichment of the soul,” said St. John Paul II. “It is an invitation to overcome superficiality, vanity, selfishness and sin, and to trust more intensely in God and his saving will.” (St. John Paul II, General Audience, June 2, 2004)

Even my bosom friend...against me: Christian tradition often interprets this psalm with respect to Judas’ betrayal of Christ, the perfect friend.

Raise me up, that I might pay them: In a Christological context, this is seen as a reference to the Resurrection by which Christ would requite some of his doubters, moving them to believe in his divinity. St. Ambrose wrote that it was fitting to interpret this psalm in terms of Christ’s Passion because the next group of psalms concern new life, suggesting the Resurrection. (cf. Enarrationes in XII Psalmos, 40, 37) (CCC 1002, 1526)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we do give you praise and we do give you glory. We bless your name. We praise your name. Holiness and all glory is yours. All praise and thanksgiving belongs to you for who you are and for what you have done in our lives. So, Lord, preserve us from resentment. Preserve us from corruption. And preserve us from despair and discouragement. Help us to be filled with your courage, to be filled with your grace, and therefore to be able to let our lives be signs of praise and signs of thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”