How quick are we to react to criticism or denigration with anger or heated words?
As we journey towards Pascha, these Psalms offer an alternative to such reactions. It is a simple alternative, but it is not easy. It is the alternative exemplified by Jesus when standing trial before Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod. As Isaiah foretold about the Christ, "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth." (Isaiah 53:7)
Today's Psalms, prayers written centuries before Christ by the Prophet David, show us one of the reasons why this king was called a man after God's own heart. David offers another example of trusting in the justice and faithfulness of God. We read Psalm 37(38) during every Orthros service. Verses 13 and 14 should be very familiar to us. "But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear, like a mute man who does not open his mouth. I have become like a man who does not hear, and in whose mouth are no rebukes." Similar sentiments are repeated throughout today's reading.