Psalm 116 unfolds as a psalm of thanksgiving publicly proclaimed. To the One who has kept [his] soul from death, the psalmist seeks to make a return – a notably liturgical return. The lifting of the cup, the invocation of God’s Name, the fulfillment of vows were, in Old Testament times, liturgical actions to be performed within the precincts of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Our Lord, in fulfilling this psalm, took the Jewish thanksgiving ritual a step further. In His saving sacrifice, He Himself became the perpetual thanksgiving – Eucharist – for redeemed humanity. He lifts to the heavenly Father, not the cup of God’s wrath, but the chalice of salvation filled with the Blood of the new and eternal Covenant. Precious indeed in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful One, the well-beloved Son who came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Matt. 20:28
Sing Psalms to God - A Franciscan look at the Psalter
Your Servant Am I - Psalm 116 II
I trusted even when I said, “I am sorely afflicted.” And when I said in my alarm, “No man can be trusted.” How can I repay the Lord for His goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name.
My vows to the Lord I will fulfill before all His people.
O precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful.
Your servant, O Lord, Your servant am I; I am Your servant,
the son of Your handmaid; You have loosened my bonds.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make: I will call on the Lord’s name.
My vows to the Lord I will fulfill before all His people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Alleluia!