Monday, November 20, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, November 26, 2017

Reflections


Psalm 23:  1-2, 2-3, 5-6   (Read)

"He guides me in right paths."



This well known psalm is a prayer 
that we offer to our Lord, the Good Shepherd.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”   
We desire to be one of His sheep because He
looks after us and protects us and seeks us
out when we stray.  On the other hand we
do not want to be one of the goats that He
scatters.  Nor do we want to be on the wrong 
side of His judgment when He separates the 
sheep from the goats. 
(See Gospel, Matthew 25: 31-34)

In Sunday’s first reading the prophet Ezekiel tells us --
“The Lord God looks after his scattered sheep.” 
(Ezekiel 34:12)
He brings us back to the sheep-hold
where He will bind up our wounds.
Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd,
and we are drawn to Him, because He offers 
to lead us beside still waters, to grant us peace, 
and to restore us spiritually.

Our Lord Jesus, King of kings, stands by us 
in the victory over death. 
Our psalmist David says it this way, thousands 
of years before the time of Christ,
“You prepare a table before me in the 
presence of my enemies.” 

As the Psalm says, our Lord anoints us; 
He fills our cup so that it overflows.
We are ready to go forth on our own journey 
to discover who we are and how we are to treat others, 
especially the least among us. (Gospel, Matthew 25: 45)
In our journey we learn that, if we really want 
to have eternal life with our Lord, then we must 
become shepherds in our own right, here on earth.

Having been rescued by our Savior, 
and now counted among His obedient sheep, 
and ready to do His will, 
we are groomed to enter the kingdom 
and to sit at the table that God sets for us.
“Surely goodness and mercy 
shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”


Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm makes it clear we want to stay on the right side of our 

Good Shepherd; we want to be guided in right paths for His name's sake.  
Explain what you are doing so that you will be placed on His right, and not 
on His left with the goats.

2.  As His good sheep, we are being groomed to do His will.  Our psalmist 

says that our Lord anoints us with oil.  Having been anointed by the Lord, 
how are you carrying out His will within your family and your community?




Monday, November 13, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, November 19, 2017


“Just so will they be blessed 
who fear the Lord.”


The Psalm affirms that 
blessings for we who 
fear the Lord are to be 
found in the recesses 
of our homes, in the 
ordinary joys of family.

The worthy wife is valued 
in the Psalm as a fruitful 
vine because she blesses 
her home and family with 
the gift of her handiwork.  
As in the Gospel she uses 
wisely what is given her as 
her way of obeying the Lord 
and holding Him in awe.  

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.

As the Psalm says, if we fear the Lord 
and walk in His ways, we will receive 
the blessings of our labor, prosper, 
and grow old gracefully in the company 
of our wife and children.


Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm assures us that we will be favored by the Lord, 
if we walk in 

His ways.  Speak of how you have been blessed by obeying the Lord and 
holding Him in awe.

2.  Our psalmist tells of a worthy wife who uses wisely what 
she has been 

given.  Give an example of how you have used your God-given talent to serve 
your family or your community.




Monday, November 6, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, November 12, 2017


Reflections


“My soul is thirsting for you, 
O Lord my God.”


This prayer of longing 
was written at a time 
when David was in the 
desert, a place where 
physical thirst was all 
around him, and the 
earth was parched,
lifeless and without water.  
But David is writing also 
about a spiritual thirst that 
overwhelms him and reminds 
him of the emptiness of life 
without God. 

David meditates on those happier moments 
when he was close to the Lord, when his soul
was satisfied, as with the riches of a banquet,
and when he took shelter in the shadow of 
the wings of God.

We too go through times of spiritual deprivation
when we walk away from God and indulge in
sinful practices that separate us from God.
At those times, like a penitent sinner, we
experience our deepest longing for the love of
the Lord and we seek out His loving embrace.
As our psalmist says, at times like that our soul
clings fast to the Lord, we bless Him, we glorify Him,
we praise Him.

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist seeks the Lord because his soul thirsts for Him.  
Give an example of a time when you have thirsted for God's 
presence and blessing in your life.

2.  The Psalm speaks of gazing toward the Lord in the sanctuary.  
Tell of a time when you have gazed at the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament
Chapel of your parish and how you could see His power and His glory.




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, November 5, 2017


Reflections


Psalm 131: 1, 2, 3   (Read)

"In you Lord, I have found my peace."



















Our psalmist David writes about his 
childlike trust in God.  His soul is stilled.   
He is “like a weaned child on its mother’s lap.”

     David is so unlike the priests of Israel 
     described in Sunday’s first reading,  
     who do not listen and are contemptible
     in the Lord’s eyes.  (Malachi 1: 8-10)
     Instead, David listens and submits 
     completely to God in all humility.  
     His heart is not proud, nor are his eyes 
     haughty.  He is so unlike the scribes 
     and the Pharisees described by Jesus 
     in Sunday’s Gospel.   (Matthew 23: 2-6)

     Our psalmist does not busy himself 
     with great matters or concern himself 
     with things beyond his reach. 
     By humbling himself, he will be 
     raised up, as the Gospel promises.
     (Matthew 23:  11-12)
     Our psalmist is in the care of the Lord,
     and he is being cared for as those in 
     the Church of the Thessalonians were – 
     “as a nursing mother cares for her children”
     (1 Thessalonians 2:7)

     There is a message for us, too, in the 
     Psalm’s final verse – David says we are 
     to hope in the Lord, now and forever.  
     That is all we need as believers – 
     the message is simple –  trust in the Lord 
     like a child and learn to do His will.


     Amen



    Discussion Questions for Reflection

      1.   Our psalmist calls for us to be like a child and trust in the Lord unconditionally.
     Give an example of how you are able to do so.
     
      2.   David says he has found his peace in the Lord and that his soul is stilled 
      and quieted.   Speak of how you have been able to find peace.

    

Monday, October 23, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, October 29, 2017


Reflections



“The Lord Lives!”


The Psalm is saying that 
the Lord is present to us, 
here and nowjust as 
He was when He delivered 
our psalmist David from his 
persecutors.

The really key revelation for 

us is that the Lord lives.  
He lives among us; He is 
present in the Word.  Jesus 
is in fact the Living Word.  
He is present on the inside 
of us through the Holy Spirit.  
He is alive in the Eucharist. 
He humbled himself to share 
in our humanity, so that 
we might have a share in 
His divinity!

So Jesus is alive and well, standing 
by us as our “rock of refuge, our 
shield, our saving horn.”  We join 
with David in praising God and loving 
Him with all our heart and all our mind, 
as Jesus reminds us to do in the Gospel.
(Matthew 22: 37)

How do we apply the Psalm's verses to 
our lives?  We turn to our Lord to equip 
us for the battles that we fight against the 
evil one.  Jesus becomes our fortress!

In this Psalm we hear David, crying out 
to the Lord, as one cries out to his savior.
“My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, 
the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” 
David has just emerged after being saved 
by God from his enemies.  David has been 
rescued by that same God of compassion 
and mercy that is present to us.

David praises his savior in language that 
is familiar to us as his spiritual descendants,
“The Lord lives!  Blessed be my rock! 
Exalted be God my savior!”

For David has been delivered from the 
forces of evil that surrounded him.
And that same deliverance is available to
us, so long as we surrender ourselves 
to God and love God with all of our heart 
and soul and strength.


Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm affirms for us that our Lord lives!  Tell of how the Lord is present 
to you in your daily life.  How does He reveal Himself to you?

2.  Our psalmist extols God our Savior, and speaks of the Lord as the horn 
of salvation.  When and how do you turn to the Lord as your rock of refuge?




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, October 22, 2017


Reflections


“Awesome is He; give to the Lord 
the glory due His name!”



The Psalm is a message to 
Israel’s neighbors and to the 
rest of the world, that there 
is one true God.  
“Tell God’s glory among the 
nations; among all peoples, 
God’s marvelous deeds.”

The Israelites have returned 
from exile and have been 
brought back from near death 
as a people.  The remnant has 
survived, and the Israelites have 
been delivered by the one 
and only God.   

And so they sing a “new song,” 
celebrating the “newness of God” 
that comes with the joy of praising 
Him as sovereign.  
“Sing to the Lord a new song; 
sing to the Lord, all you lands.”  
As the Psalm says, we are all 
summoned to adoration
of our sovereign.  We are called 
to give Him glory and praise.

In Sunday's first reading the prophet 
Isaiah confirms there is no other 
God besides Him.  (Isaiah 45: 5)
The gods of other nations are mere
idols, and they all do nothing, says 
our psalmist. But our God made 
the heavens; He is to be praised 
and feared.  

And how do we praise Him?
How do we give the Lord the glory 
due His name?  We engage in works 
of faith; we undertake a labor of love 
for Him, as St Paul tells us in Sunday's 
second reading.  (1 Thessalonians 1:3)

All peoples are invited to recognize 
our God, and pledge to obey Him.  
“Say among the nations, “The Lord 
is King; the world will surely stand fast, 
never to be shaken.”  And having 
acknowledged that God is sovereign, 
how should we and all the nations behave?   
The Gospel tells us how --  Jesus says,
“Repay to God what belongs to God.” 
(Matthew 22: 21)
And we understand our calling,
“Give to the Lord the glory due His name!”  

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm exhorts us to "Sing to the Lord a new song."  

How does your song go when you sing praise to God?  What 
do you have to say to the Lord?

2.  Our psalmist encourages us to "Give the Lord glory and honor."  

We are called to give glory to God in the works of faith that we do.  
Speak of how you give God the glory in what you do.