Monday, January 15, 2018

Psalm for Sunday, January 21, 2018


Reflections


“Good and upright is the Lord, 
who shows sinners the way.” 

We are blessed to have a God 
who does not disregard us.
On the contrary, He is a caring, 
compassionate God, 
willing to humble Himself 
to share in our humanity, 
so that we might share in His
divinity.  Who else would have 
such regard for sinners, for believers 
who disobey Him?  All we have to do 
is trust Him, and He will lead us back to the 
right path --
“Make known to me your ways, Lord; 
teach me your paths.”

Our psalmist David humbly
offers up his sins to God his savior,
and waits for God’s guidance. 
“The Lord guides the humble rightly, 
and teaches the humble
His way.”

In Sunday's Gospel the early disciples 
leave their nets and their families behind 
when Jesus calls out to them.  (Mark 1:16-20)
Jesus had a plan for His disciples,
when He singled them out to serve Him. 
God had a plan for Jonah as well;
His mission was to warn the people 
of Nineveh to repent and turn to the Lord.  
(Jonah 3: 1-5)

St Paul in Sunday's second reading 
has a similar message for all of us, 
that time is running out and any day now 
would be an acceptable day for us
to focus on our own salvation.  
(1 Corinthians 7: 29-31)
The Lord is there to guide us,
as He was in the days of David,
our psalmist.

Whether it's through a Jonah 
in our midst or a Saint Paul,
the message of the Lord is clear –
“Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
We may not be able to do this on our own,
but as our psalmist says,  
“The Lord shows sinners the way.”

The Lord is talking to all of us here; 
we are all sinners.
We are all able to benefit 
from the healing power of Jesus.
And where does the power come from 
to turn away from sin?  
It comes from the Lord;   
It is He who encourages us when 
our tongues confess, 
“Remember no more the sins of my youth; 
remember me only in light of your love.” 

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist petitions the Lord, 'Teach me your ways.'  

How do you go about learning the ways of the Lord?  Tell how 
the verses of the Psalm help you understand the ways of the Lord.

2.  Our Psalm says the Lord 'shows sinners the way.'  Give an example 

of how you have been guided by the Lord to turn away from sin and repent.





Monday, January 8, 2018

Psalm for Sunday, January 14, 2018

Reflections




“Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.”



















The Psalm is a prayer of gratitude
and of obedience to the Lord.
Our psalmist David answers God’s call
when he says, “Here I am.”
Young Samuel does the same
in our first reading.
Samuel waits expectantly
for the Lord to speak to him –
he is ‘all ears’
when he hears the Lord’s voice.
He grows up serving the Lord
and following God. (1 Samuel 3: 3-10,19)

Our psalmist says,
“He put a new song into my mouth.”
For us too it is no longer the same old tune
or the same old we.   We are in fact
a new creation, singing out the good news.

Where does our joyful spirit come from?
It comes from the Lord, and we are called
to share what He has given us and to do
His will, which is our delight.

In the Gospel reading (John 1:35-42),
Andrew recognizes Jesus as the anointed
and is drawn to Him.
Andrew and  his brother Simon
truly become members of Christ's body.
They are joined to the Lord
and have become one spirit with Him,
as St. Paul proclaims in our 2nd reading. 
(1 Corinthians 6:15,17)

We too are called to follow Christ
and to do His will.
Obedience isn’t an unpleasant chore for us;
instead as the Psalm tells us,
“To do your will is my delight.”

Amen

 

Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  In this beautiful Psalm our psalmist speaks of waiting, waiting for the Lord.   

Tell what it means to you to have waited for the Lord, and what has been the result
of your presenting yourself to the Lord?

2.  Our psalmist is delighted to do God's will; he says to God, "Your law is within 

my heart!"   Have you also felt the Lord's pleasure when you obey Him and serve Him?  What does it mean to you to say God's law is within my heart?


   

Monday, January 1, 2018

Psalm for Sunday, January 7, 2018

Reflections

















"Lord, every nation on earth will adore you."

This Psalm is a prayer for our newborn King. 
Our psalmist speaks of a Messiah 
who will be like the “rain coming down 
upon the fields,  like showers watering the earth.” 
Our psalmist prays that our newborn King 
will be anointed by God with divine judgment 
and empowered to rule the earth.

The prophet Isaiah in Sunday's first reading 
predicts that the light of the Lord 
will cause our hearts to overflow 
and the riches of the sea to be emptied out 
before us.  (Isaiah 60: 5)
Our psalmist also speaks of “abundance 
that will flourish in his days.” 

But the Messiah is among us 
to do more than bless us materially;
our Savior has come to make our burdens light, 
to share our afflictions.

We see the light, just as the prophet Isaiah 
said we would.
And in the Psalm's verses, the mystery 
is revealed to us, poor in spirit though 
we are:  “He rescues the poor when they 
cry out [as we do], the oppressed 
who have no one to help.”
This is what our Good Shepherd Jesus 
is sent to do, to shepherd God’s people. 
This is why we join the Magi in doing 
homage to our newborn King and join 
with our psalmist in singing,
"Blessed be the Lord; Blessed be His 
glorious name."

Amem


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist mentions 'afflicted ones' and 'the afflicted' in two of the Psalm's 

verses.  Are there times when you can identify yourself as an 'afflicted' one?   
Tell what remedies are available to you that are mentioned in the Psalm.

2.  The Psalm says, 'Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.'   Using the 

verses of the Psalm, explain why 'all kings' would want to pay homage to our Lord.




Monday, December 25, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, December 31, 2017


Reflections


“Blessed are those who fear
the Lord and walk in His ways.”

Our psalmist tells us that a man 
who has a right relationship with 
the Lord will also obtain a right 
relationship with his wife and his 
family.  If we have a right
relationship with the Lord, we will 
know how to treat our wives and 
our children, and in turn, we will 
discover how blessed we are in 
our home and by the presence of
our family. “Just so will the man 
be blessed who fears the Lord.”

And if a man walks with the Lord, 
this will be reflected in the way he 
loves his wife.  Because if a man 
cherishes his wife, as ‘flesh of his 
flesh’ and ‘bone of his bones,’ 
he nourishes his relationship with 
her, as Christ nourishes the Church.
And the man’s reward is that his wife 
will be like a ‘fruitful vine’ within his 
house. This is how a man is blessed 
who fears the Lord.

Having been so favored by God, we 
understand why, 'A man shall leave his 
father and mother and cleave to his wife.' 
God made them one flesh, and, 'What God 
has joined, no human being may separate.'

If we fear the Lord and walk in His ways, 
we will receive the blessings of our labor, 
prosper in a material way, and grow old 
gracefully in the company of our family.

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm tells us how to gain God's favor so that our family life will 

be blessed.  What does it mean to you to fear the Lord and walk in His ways?

2.  We learn from our psalmist how to behave toward our wife and our children.  

A right relationship with our family is obtained by having a right relationship 
with our Lord.  Explain how you are putting this teaching into practice.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, December 24, 2017


Reflections

Psalm 89:  2-3, 4-5, 27, 29   (Read)

"The promises of the Lord 
I will sing forever."

This Sunday's Psalm 
sings about God’s 
promises to Israel 
and God's covenant 
with David.  
“I have made a covenant 
with my chosen one.”
That same divine selection 
is celebrated in Sunday's 
first reading that tells the story 
of how David was taken from 
pasturing sheep to become 
Israel’s commander. (2 Samuel 7:8)

Our psalmist quotes the Lord, 
“I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all 
generations.”

And how does this young shepherd boy 
rise to greatness in Israel?  He succeeds 
because he has found favor with God,
and God will be the source of his strength.  
This is the same divine strength that St Paul 
tells us is available to each of us, 
if we believe and have faith.  (Romans 16:25)

But it isn’t a one way street with the Lord.
David is to show us that we must give glory 
to God.  He cries out, “You are my Father, 
my God, the Rock, my Savior.”

Our Mother Mary also finds favor with God 
and is anointed to be the Blessed Mother 
of our Lord Jesus.  She too responds by 
giving glory to God in this week’s 
Gospel.  (Luke 1:38)

The Lord’s covenant with David stands firm, 
and it is through God’s promise to David 
that the Messiah is born of Mary.
“Forever, I will maintain my love for [David];
my covenant with him stands firm.”
That promise to David is fulfilled 
in the birth of our Savior, and for that 
we too must give glory to God.

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  David is to call out to the Lord, 'You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.'  
We too are inspired to cry out to God in a similar way. Tell of the times when you 
have felt like crying out to God in worship and praise.

2. Our Psalm response is, 'Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.' 
One reason to sing of the Lord's goodness is because His promises are trustworthy. 
Describe how you have relied on the promises of the Lord in your faith journey.




Monday, December 11, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, December 17, 2017



"The Almighty has done great things for me."

Mary, the mother of our Lord, speaks this 
psalm of praise (the Magnificat) to God 
in the words of a humble servant:
“For he has looked upon his handmaid’s 
lowliness.”

Despite her elevated position as God’s 
chosen instrument, Mary does not exalt 
herself – she exalts God the Father.
"My soul proclaims the greatness of 
the Lord.”  
She glorifies the Lord; 
“The Mighty One has done great things 
for me.”   
Mary is truly God’s anointed one, 
and the spirit of the Lord is upon her;  
"My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” 

And Mary inspires us;  
we too are God’s lowly creatures
and should expect the Lord 
to do great things for us as well. 
We too should expect to be singled out 
by the Lord to do His work.  
This is our food (to do the Lord’s work),
 just as it was for Jesus the Son.

Mary testifies to the light, as does 
John the  Baptist in Sunday's Gospel. 
(John 1: 6-9)
Because of Mary’s faith, 
the Old Testament promises are fulfilled, 
and the tide is turned.  As the Psalm says,
“The hungry [that is who we are] are filled 
with good things.” 


Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Blessed Mother says, "The Almighty has done great things for me."
In what way do you also believe that God has done great things for you,
and how have you responded?

2.  Mary declares that God has filled the 'hungry' with good things. 
Do you consider yourself one of the hungry ones?  And if so, in what way 
has the Lord fed you with good things?




Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, December 10, 2017


Reflections 


Image result for Kindness and truth shall meet;justice and peace shall kiss.Truth shall spring out of the earth,and justice shall look down from heaven.
"Near indeed is His salvation,
Glory dwelling in our land."

The Psalm is a prayer that 
God will restore peace and 
prosperity to the Israelites,
and by extension to us.   
We are told that our salvation 
is near,   “The Lord proclaims 
peace to his people, Glory 
dwelling in our Land.”   

The prophet  Isaiah tells us in 
Sunday’s first reading, our God 
declares, “Give comfort to my people.”  
And Zion is told, “Cry out at the top of 
your voice.”    (Isaiah 40: 1,6, 9)
For us Christians the Psalm is more 
than a cry; it is a promise of salvation.  
“Near indeed is salvation for those 
who fear Him."   St Peter too affirms 
that the Lord does not delay in 
keeping his promise. (2 Peter 3:9)

And what should we expect?
Nothing less than the coming 
of the Messiah himself.  Our psalmist 
affirms, “Truth will spring from the earth.”
For us this happens when the Messiah
is incarnate.

The psalmist prepares the way 
of the Lord, as does John the Baptist 
in this week’s Gospel.  As the psalm says, 
“Justice shall walk before him and prepare 
the way of His steps.”

Amen 


Discussion Questions for Reflections

1.   The Psalm says, "Truth shall spring out of the earth."  For us this verse foretells 
the coming of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ.  What else about the Psalm 
prepares us for the birth of our Savior?

2.   Our psalmist says, "I will hear what God proclaims."  For us, this verse can be 
seen as a reminder to study the Word of the Lord.  Explain how your study of the 
Word is strengthening your faith.