Monday, July 13, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, July 19, 2020


Reflections 

“Turn toward me, and have pity on me, 
give your strength to your servant.”

We pray, as does our psalmist David,
for the Lord to attend to the 'sound of
our pleading.' We take refuge in the same 
heavenly Father that Christ did. Even 
when we are far away, the Lord has pity 
on us. Even though we forget Him, He 
does not forget us. He searches our hearts; 
He gathers us into His mansion 
at the end of the age. 

He empowers us to fight a good fight. 
God saves us from our enemies, and also 
from ourselves. All we have to do is 
open our hearts to Him and do His will 
by striving to be saved. For God gives 
His children good ground for hope, and 
He permits repentance for their sins.
(Wisdom 12:19, 1st reading)

Our Psalmist never stops asking, 
and He is rightly sure, 
that God could never stop giving. 
God could scarcely resist our prayers.
Even though we do not know how to pray 
as we ought, as St Paul says, the Holy Spirit
Himself intercedes with inexpressible 
groanings.  (Romans 8:26, 2nd reading)

The Lord is present to us;
He listens; He pardons; He saves. 
God's goodness overwhelms us. 
Even nonbelievers will come to worship 
God and glorify His name.

Amen
   

Discussion Questions for Reflection


1.  Our psalmist is overwhelmed with the goodness of our 
merciful Lord.   
Give an example of how God has attended to the sound of your pleading 
and done a wondrous deed in your life.

2.  The Psalm is a prayer that God will strengthen and 
empower His servant.  
Speak of how the Lord has empowered you to do His will.



Monday, July 6, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, July 12, 2020

Reflections 



“The Lord has visited the land 
and watered it; greatly has He 
enriched it.” 
  
Water is so critical for 
place like the Holy Land, 
as it is here in the arid 
climate of Southern 
California.  Without water 
we could not produce any fruit.   We are blessed that “God's watercourses are filled” and He provides us with an abundant harvest.

We also depend upon the Lord to supply us with what 
Jesus called the living water
that satisfies our spiritual thirst. 
Jesus is the Word that drenches us, 
adorns our year with plenty.  
How else could we bear fruit?  
With his showers He softens the land, 
blessing its young sprouts (that is us). 
We are like untilled meadows without 
his word and his grace.  How else 
could we expect our pastures 
to be blanketed with grain? 

The Lord prepares the earth;
He adorns our paths with fruitful rain. 
The hills are robed in joy.
God’s Word is showered down upon us, 
and does not return to God void; 
we do his will;
we are his witnesses; 
we keep the faith. 

Amen

Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist speaks about the Lord having visited the land and watered it.   
Tell of how the Lord has drenched you with His living water that yields a fruitful 
harvest.

2.  The Psalm assures us that the Lord breaks up the clods of the land and 
softens it with showers.  Give an example of how God's Word has softened 
you up spiritually and led you to do His will.

 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, July 5, 2020


Reflections  


“The Lord lifts up all who are falling 
and raises up all who are bowed down.” 

We may question why 
God allows us to suffer, 
why he allows bad things 
to happen to good people.   
We may ask, as the early 
believers probably did,  
“Why is it necessary 
to undergo such hardships 
to enter the kingdom 
of God?” 

Scripture tells us that 
afflictions are to be expected 
in our walk with the Lord.  
We may not understand 
what God is up to, but we can be sure 
that our faith will be strengthened
if we stand fast in the face of suffering. 
We will become better witnesses 
for Christ if we are humbled;
we become better servants 
if we bear up with our difficulties 
and trust in the Lord, as our psalmist tells us.

And as the Gospel says, we are raised up 
by getting 'yoked to Jesus.'  (Matthew 11:28-30)
That is how our burdens are made light, 
by helping Jesus to carry His cross, 
as Simon did that day on the road to Calvary. 
Despite what we may think, 
his 'yoke is easy and his burden light.'

Remember that endurance is a Godly quality
and will help us to get yoked to Jesus. 
Having done that, we, like our psalmist David, 
join with the faithful and 
speak of the glory of God's reign 
and bless his name.

Amen

Discussion Questions for Reflection
 
1.  Our psalmist assures us that the Lord will lift us up when we are falling.   
Speak of a time when you have undergone hardship and how your faith has
been strengthened.

2.  The Psalm says that the Lord is "good to all and compassionate toward all 
his works."  Tell how this verse inspires you to be more compassionate toward 
those in your life who may not always be lovable in your sight. 



Monday, June 22, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, June 28, 2020


Reflections


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

Whatever our circumstances, 
we are encouraged to sing 
to the Lord of His goodness.
Just as Elisha promised the 
woman of Shunem that 
she would bear a son
(this Sunday's first reading),
so does the Lord reach out
to us in unlikely 
circumstances.

The Lord surprises us when 
we are barren; He renews us 
when we are spent; He grants us a share in the life of 
the Messiah even though 
we are unworthy and sinful.

All we have to do is bear our cross and praise Him, 
sing of His promises forever, as our psalmist says. 
There may be interruptions in our joy, and there 
will be times when we will question, “How could 
the Lord allow this to happen to me?” But so long 
as we bear our cross with dignity and die to sin, 
then we are living for God in Christ Jesus, 
as St Paul reminds us. (Romans 6:11)

Jesus says in today’s Gospel that we are not worthy
of Him if we do not take up our cross.  We must lose
our life for Christ in order to find it.  (Matthew 10: 38-39)
Despite the setbacks we face, we must endure;
for as St Paul tells us, endurance produces character
and character produces hope, which does not
disappoint. (Romans 5: 3-5)

Whatever it takes, our psalmist tells us, “Through
all generations my mouth shall proclaim your 
faithfulness.” Our job is to know the joyful shout;
to walk in the light of God’s countenance; and to 
sing the goodness of the Lord forever.

Amen
 

Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Are you able to sing of the promises of the Lord even when you have been 
disappointed or are suffering?  Explain

2.  Are you one of the blessed people who walk in the light of the Lord’s 
countenance?  Speak of how His countenance is reflected in your own face.



Monday, June 15, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, June 21, 2020


Reflections




"You who seek God, may your hearts revive!"

  
Like Jeremiah, our psalmist 
cries out to the Lord and seeks 
relief from suffering.   The psalmist 
bears insult for the sake of God 
as a consequence of his zeal 
for the Lord. 

Yet the verses are a plea to God 
and a remedy for the distress 
into which the psalmist has sunk. 
Crying out to God with trust 
in God’s great love is the only 
answer for those lowly ones who 
are cast down and persecuted. 
Seek the Lord and your hearts 
will revive!  The Lord hears the cry 
of the poor. 

The Gospel echoes the confidence 
of the psalm's verses. Jesus affirms 
that we are to proclaim the Gospel 
from the housetops and fear not our 
enemies who are powerless to kill the soul.  
(Matthew 10:27-28)

As the psalm says, even if we are in bonds 
the Lord will not spurn us. For the Lord in his great 
love will answer us. The psalmist stands on firm 
ground though he was cast out by family and friends.
In the Gospel Jesus confirms that He is on the side 
of those who acknowledge Him as Lord.

Are we bearing insult for our God; do our brothers 
cast us out because of our faith; have we become 
a stranger to our children because zeal for the Lord
consumes us?  If so, we are in good company because
Jesus suffered the insults of those who denied him.

What is our remedy? There is only one way to turn,
as our psalmist says. Pray to the Lord, that in His 
great love He will answer us, that He will favor us, 
and that He will help us. No one else is merciful like 
the Lord; no one else has unlimited amounts of 
kindness; no one else has the power to revive us 
from the inside out. We are His own and His
own who are in bonds He spurns not. 

Amen 


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Have you been spurned by family or friends because 
of your faith?  How do you respond?

2.  Have you born insult for the sake of the Lord?  
How did you handle it?



 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, June 14, 2020


Reflections


“With the best of wheat 
he fills you.”

God has been a provider 
to His people ever since 
He created us.  But the 
beauty of His providence 
is that He provides for us 
spiritually as well as 
physically.  During the 
Liturgy of the Eucharist, 
as the gifts are being 
prepared, the priest says, 
“Through your goodness we have this 
bread to offer, which earth has given, 
it will become for us the bread of life.”

We are nourished by the Eucharist, 
by the body and blood of our Lord Jesus. 
And that is where our life comes from, 
our hope, our salvation.  All we have 
to do is receive Him with a clean heart 
and avoid partaking of the 
“table of demons” (1 Cor 10: 20).

Our Lord's body is real food, and when we eat it
we are given a share in the divine life. During 
the Mass the celebrant prays, “By the mystery 
of this water and wine may we come to share in 
the divinity of Christ, who humbled Himself 
to share in our humanity.”

St Paul says in this Sunday's 2nd reading
that we all “partake of the one loaf” (1 Cor 10: 17).
We share in the bread of life, and our Savior's body 
is a source of nourishment for us. This Sunday's 
Gospel reminds us that Jesus is the living bread 
from heaven. (John 6: 51-58)  Praise God!

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm speaks of our Lord as being a good provider; 

He fills us with the best of wheat.  Speak of how you are nourished 
by the real  food of the Eucharist.

2.  Our psalmist declares that God's word runs swiftly as the Lord 

sends forth His command to the earth.  These verses allude 
to the power of God's word in our lives.   Tell of how you receive 
the word of God and how it affects you.