By Tom Quiner
It’s hard to believe Psalm 22 was written a millennium before Jesus was nailed to the cross. This messianic psalm, which describes the travails of David, surely prefigures Christ.
It is reminiscent of Psalm 51 which opens our Lenten season with Ash Wednesday, just as Psalm 22 is sung on Palm Sunday, setting the stage for Holy Week.
In Psalm 51, David has sinned deeply, and in his contrition, he promises God to redouble his efforts to “teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.”
In Psalm 22, he has been deeply persecuted by King Saul. He asks God to deliver him from death, and in return, he again promises to double down in his evangelization efforts by proclaiming God’s name in the assembly:
“You who fear the Lord, praise him!”
David uses rich imagery in describing his plight, which eerily foretells the crucifixion:
“All who see me scoff at me.”
“They have pierced my hands and feet; I can count all my bones.”
“They cast lots to claim my clothes.”
So when Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”, He has allowed Himself to experience the isolation of the sinner as He takes all the sins of the world … onto Himself.
Sin separates us from God. And sin hurts.
The sin of abortion is particularly painful to women. These women are often driven to such an extreme in a crisis pregnancy because they feel abandoned by a boyfriend, a husband, or their family.
In their isolation, many cry out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me!”
But He hasn’t.
God has placed angels right here on earth to tend to women dealing with unplanned pregnancies. You’ll find them in compassionate crisis pregnancy centers like these:
Crisis Pregnancy Resources
Davenport Hope and Healing Ministry (Davenport, Iowa)
Life Care Pregnancy Center ( Stuart, Iowa)
Pathways of Pella (Pella, Iowa)
Pregnancy Center of Central Iowa (Newton, Iowa)
Do you know someone in a crisis pregnancy with the misguided notion that God has abandoned them? Share the resources above with them.
This weekend, the entire Catholic community will sing this gut-wrenching psalm at our Palm Sunday Masses. The isolated and the abandoned hold a special place in the hearts of the faithful this weekend.
Christ is with the mother in crisis. Christ is with the baby in the womb. Help is available.
You are not alone.