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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: March 29, 2015
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor preached the following homily at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock on Sunday, March 29, 2015.
There are many songs that are so familiar that if you just hear the first line the rest of the song comes to mind. If an American hostage were to shout, "O beautiful for spacious skies" we’d know right away that he wasn’t talking about the big skies of Iraq.
His intention would be to make the entire song, "America, the Beautiful" come to mind, and thus declare clearly the love of country that the song as a whole expresses.
Well, when Jesus shouted, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" his Jewish hearers knew right away that he was quoting the first line of the 22nd Psalm, and thus declaring very clearly his confidence in God’s ultimate victory as expressed by that psalm as a whole.
The 22nd Psalm may begin with words of despair but ends with a declaration of faith and hope.
The 22nd Psalm may begin with words of despair but ends with a declaration of faith and hope. The first part describes things that were happening to Jesus right then on Calvary, a point which he doesn’t want people to miss: "All who see me, scoff at me; they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads: 'He relied on the Lord; let him deliver him.'" (Psalm 22:8-9)
"And Many dogs surround me, a pack of evildoers closes in upon me; they have pierced my hands and my feet … they divide my garments among them; for my clothing they cast lots. But you O Lord, be not far from me; O my help hasten to aid me. (Psalm 22:17-20)
And then the psalm ends declaring that this is exactly what God will do: "God heard me when I cried out ... all the ends of the earth will worship and turn to the Lord … the generation to come will be told of the Lord that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought. (Psalm 22:25-32) The deliverance that we will celebrate in one week’s time.