1 Hear my prayer, O God; *
do not hide yourself from my petition.
2 Listen to me and answer me; *
I have no peace, because of my cares.
3 I am shaken by the noise of the enemy *
and by the pressure of the wicked;
4 For they have cast an evil spell upon me *
and are set against me in fury.
5 My heart quakes within me, *
and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
6 Fear and trembling have come over me, *
and horror overwhelms me.
7 And I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! *
I would fly away and be at rest.
8 I would flee to a far-off place *
and make my lodging in the wilderness.
9 I would hasten to escape *
from the stormy wind and tempest.”
10 Swallow them up, O Lord;
confound their speech; *
for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
11 Day and night the watchmen make their rounds
upon her walls, *
but trouble and misery are in the midst of her.
12 There is corruption at her heart; *
her streets are never free of oppression and deceit.
13 For had it been an adversary who taunted me,
then I could have borne it; *
or had it been an enemy who vaunted himself against me,
then I could have hidden from him.
14 But it was you, a man after my own heart, *
my companion, my own familiar friend.
15 We took sweet counsel together, *
and walked with the throng in the house of God.
16 Let death come upon them suddenly;
let them go down alive to the grave; *
for wickedness is in their dwellings, in their very midst.
17 But I will call upon God, *
and the LORD will deliver me.
18 In the evening, in the morning, and at noonday,
I will complain and lament, *
and he will hear my voice.
19 He will bring me safely back from the battle
waged against me; *
for there are many who fight me.
20 God, who is enthroned of old, will hear me and
bring them down; *
they never change; they do not fear God.
21 My companion stretched forth his hand against his comrade; *
he has broken his covenant.
22 His speech is softer than butter, *
but war is in his heart.
23 His words are smoother than oil, *
but they are drawn swords.
24 Cast your burden upon the LORD,
and he will sustain you; *
he will never let the righteous stumble.
25 For you will bring the bloodthirsty and deceitful *
down to the pit of destruction, O God.
26 They shall not live out half their days, *
but I will put my trust in you.
A Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Easter
O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people; Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Image Credit: Eucharistic Dove, French, ca. 1215–35
Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Open Access Collection