Monday, October 19, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, October 25, 2020


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?


Monday, October 12, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, October 18, 2020


Reflections
  

Psalm 96:  1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10   (Read)

“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 the 1st 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 today's 
2nd 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.



Monday, October 5, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, October 11, 2020


Reflections




“I shall dwell in the house of the Lord 
all the days of my life.”

It is said that this wonderful prayer 
was written at the end of King David’s 
life. We are with David as he passes 
from death to life on God’s holy 
mountain.

Isaiah says the Lord will provide 
a feast of rich food and choice wines 
on His holy mountain. (Isaiah 25: 6)
Our psalmist tells us, 
“The Lord prepares a table before me;
He anoints my head with oil, 
my cup runneth over.”

Isaiah says that God wipes away our 
tears.  King David tells us, 
“Even though I walk through the valley 
of death, I shall fear no evil,  for you are 
with me.” 
What greater companion 
would we want as we face death?
St Paul agrees  --  his strength comes 
from the Lord, through Jesus, who 
empowers him.   (Philippians 4:13)
This is the same Lord who shepherds 
us in the Psalm.  

“He restores my soul.” 
David sets the tone for what is to come --  
Jesus becomes the good Shepherd, 
leads us beside still waters,
guides us along the right path.
With the Good Shepherd as our guide, 
if we walk with Him, we are sure to be 
among the chosen ones, and we are 
sure to be clothed in the right clothing
when we arrive on God’s holy mountain.

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  King David, our psalmist, is confident that he will dwell in God's house for all 
the days of his life.  What draws you to God's heavenly mansions and what gives 
you confidence that you will live there?

2.  The Psalm's verses reassure us that we are God's sheep and our Lord is our 
Good Shepherd.  Are you one of His sheep, and in what way are you gaining repose 
in His pastures?



Monday, September 28, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, October 4, 2020


Reflections

Psalm 80:  9, 12, 13-14, 15-16, 19-20   (Read)

"O Lord, take care of this vine."  














The Psalm is a prayer to restore the Israelites to God’s vineyard.   
The chosen people have lost God’s protection; God has removed 
the hedge that He put up around them.

“God brought a vine out of Egypt and planted it.”  But what kind 

of fruit did God’s vineyard bear?  The prophet Isaiah says in 
our 1st reading that despite all of God’s efforts, nothing but wild
grapes was produced. (Isaiah 5:2)    And so God broke down the
vineyard’s walls, letting, “The boar strip the vine, and the beast 
feed upon it.” 

There is a message here for all of us who do not bear fruit or 

use our resources wisely.  We could lose God’s protection, 
and we may not be able to defend ourselves from the evil one 
that prowls around like a roaring lion. 

We, like the psalmist, need to beg for God’s mercy.
“Turn again, O Lord of hosts, attend to this vine.”
If we’re not careful, the kingdom will be taken away 

from us, as it was in the Gospel, and given to a people
that will produce its fruit.  (Matthew 21: 43)  

We, like the Israelites, need to be restored.  The Psalm's
verses pray, “Give us new life,  and we will call on your name.”

Where does our hope for revival come from?
It comes from our Savior, sent by the Lord, our cornerstone,

“The son of man whom God himself made strong.”
In Him we are restored. As the Psalm says, “Lord of hosts 

restore us; let your face shine upon us, 
that we may be saved.”

Amen 

 

Discussion Questions for Reflection


1.  The Psalm says, “Lord, take care of this vine; then we will no more withdraw 

from you.  Give us new life, and we will call upon your name.”  Have you noticed 
at times when we stray off His path how the Lord tugs at each of us so that 
we return to His ways.   Give an example from your own experience.

2.  Our psalmist is writing about the scattered people of Israel, but his words may 

apply to each of us in our separation from God.   In what way are you inspired by the 
Psalm's verses to repent and seek renewal?



Monday, September 21, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, September 27, 2020


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?

The Lord is talking to all of us 
here; we are all sinners.  
Jesus was criticized for 
consorting with sinners, 
but He replied that 
the sick (people like us) 
are the ones who need a 
physician.  We are all able 
to benefit from the healing 
power of Jesus.

Our psalmist says,  “Make known 
to me your ways, Lord; 
teach me your paths.” 
The prophet Ezekiel, in Sunday's
first reading, tells us that 
if we follow the Lord's way,
we will be able to turn away 
from sin and avoid death.
(Ezekiel 18: 31)

The psalmist prays to God, 
“Remember no more the sins 
of my youth; remember me only 
in light of your love.”  
And in Sunday's Gospel,  
Jesus tells us how a young 
man became right with God 
after having disobeyed Him.   
(Matthew 21: 31)

And where does the power come from 
to turn away from sin?  
It comes from the Lord, “He shows 
sinners the way.”   It is He who 
encourages us when our tongues confess, 
“The Lord guides the humble rightly, 
and teaches the humble the way.”

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  As the Psalm says, our Lord shows us sinners the way; we pray that 
He will teach us His paths.   What leads you to follow the Lord's truth?

2.  Our psalmist petitions God to remember not the psalmist's frailties or 
the sins of his youth.   How is the Lord's compassion shown in your life?


Monday, September 14, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, September 20, 2020


Reflections

Psalm 145:  2-3, 8-9, 17-18   (Read)


“Great is the Lord and highly to be praised.”

When we reflect on what God has done for us, we remember that God has always done good things for us.  That is God's nature.  As the Psalm says, "His greatness is unsearchable."  And so we pray this psalm to bless, praise, and exalt the heavenly Father in His perfection and in His works.

Our psalmist dwells on the everlasting nature 
of God, on His love and presence throughout 
all time, and we are called to praise the Lord 
forever and ever.  Our psalmist reminds us, 
“The Lord is good to all and compassionate 
toward all His works.”  We know this inherently 
because we live our lives within an unending 
stream of divine love.

“The Lord is near to all who call upon him.” 

His presence is shown in the help, nourishment, 
and salvation that He shows to us.  The prophet 
Isaiah urges us, “Seek the Lord while He may be 
found, call Him while He is near.”
(Isaiah 55: 6)

We praise God because of His divine attributes
of compassion and love.  And fortunately for us, 

the Son shares fully in these divine attributes. 
So we also sing this psalm in honor of Christ our 
Savior, who shares fully in the perfection of God,
and in the works of the Father,

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist assures us, 'The Lord is near to all who call upon Him.'   

This verse requires us to make the extra effort to reach out to God if we 
want to be in His presence.  Tell of how you have reached out to the Lord 
and what has been the result.

2.  The Psalm calls upon us to praise His name forever and ever.
Say how you go about praising the Lord in your daily life.  Give examples.



Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, September 13, 2020


Reflections

Psalm 103: 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12  (Read)


"Not according to our sins
does He deal with us."



                                                             
Our psalmist sings the praises
of a divine and loving God, 
who surrounds us with 
compassion, pardons our sins, 
heals our ills.
He nurses no lasting anger,
He has not dealt with us as our 
sins deserve.  Our duty is to
remain faithful to the Lord, 
as we are His children,
and to treat His anointed ones 
with love and compassion, 
as He would do.

We are to be merciful to our enemies 
by imitating the Father.  The Psalm 
tells us how:  
“Merciful and gracious is the Lord,
Slow to anger and abounding in kindness.”

Who can love their enemies, and do good 
to them?  It will be difficult if we allow our 
earthly nature to rule us.  Just as “God 
has not dealt with us as our sins merit,”
so must we have compassion on those
we may be inclined to condemn.

We cannot imitate God without a share 
in Christ’s divinity, by allowing the Holy 
Spirit within us to guide us.  Only then 
will we have the kind of compassion 
the psalmist speaks about.

As the Psalm says, God’s love towers over us
if we are his faithful.
If we love the Lord, it will show in our hearts,
and the old things will then pass away.
The Psalm says it well:
As far as the east is from the west, 
so far has He put our transgressions behind us.

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection


1.  Our Psalm speaks of a loving and compassionate God,
who does not deal with us according to our sins.   Are you able
to treat those who have harmed you in the same way?  Explain.

2.  The verses of the Psalm remind us of the power of the
Sacrament of Reconciliation, "As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He put our transgressions behind us."  Relate how the
Sacrament works for you to put your sins behind you.