Pink blossoms framing a stone status in the Cathedral gardens

Psalm 34:15-22

The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous,
and his ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry, and the Lord hears them
and delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and will save those whose spirits are crushed.
Many are the troubles of the righteous,
but the Lord will deliver him out of them all.
He will keep safe all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
The Lord ransoms the life of his servants,
and none will be punished who trust in him.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and will save those whose spirits are crushed. (Psalm 34:18 )

The verses from the psalm we read today are only a portion of Psalm 34. Throughout the verses, the psalmist writes to proclaim the fact that God hears our pleas at all times and that God is our strength. This message is one that we can take to heart as we live into the reality of a worldwide COVID-19 crisis. Each and every day we are inundated with news that can break the human heart and crush our spirits. When we are brokenhearted, we may feel that God is far away but verse 18 assures us that God is near.

In facing the uncertainty of daily life, it is our faith that provides stability. Faith does not keep us from experiencing life’s various difficulties and dangers, but it certainly gives us the assurance that God cares for us and carries us through the trials and troubles that come our way. God offers hope even when we can’t make sense of the things going on around us.

This is not the first time people of faith have had to face difficult or frightening times, nor will it be the last. But the way forward is to know that God delivers us from our fears and gives comfort to those overwhelmed with the challenges of the time in which we live. When we are at our weakest, God is our strength to begin anew. When we are at our lowest, God gives hope to rise again. When we are at our saddest, God knits our hearts back together moment by moment. Today may we remember that God is always near.


O God, you have given us the Good News of your abounding love in your Son Jesus Christ: So fill our hearts with thankfulness that we may rejoice to proclaim the good tidings we have received; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2006)