Monday, February 17, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, February 23, 2020

Reflections



“The Lord redeems your life from destruction, 
crowns you with kindness and compassion.”

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, and 
to treat His anointed ones with 
love and compassion, as He 
would do.

This Sunday's Gospel teaches 
a powerful and difficult lesson – 
we are to be merciful to our 
enemies by imitating the Father.  
(Matthew 5: 43-48)
And the Psalm tells us how to do this, 
by being “Merciful and gracious, 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 imitate 
God and have compassion on those 
we would typically want to condemn.

We cannot imitate God without a share 
in Christ’s divinity, and in turn being 
empowered by the Holy Spirit within us.  
Only then will we have the kind of 
compassion the psalmist speaks about, 
“As a father has compassion on his 
children, so the Lord has compassion 
on the 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.



Monday, February 10, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, February 16, 2020


Reflections   (by J. Kim)
    

“Blessed are they who follow the law
of the Lord.”

Our psalmist is in prayer asking for many things.  He asks, "Open my eyes, that I may consider the 
wonders of your law."  We may 
not think of the law as wonderful, 
but rather may consider it restrictive and harsh, but if we learn to do His will, we find that we are liberated, 
set free from the sin that drags us down.  We choose life instead of death.

The Lord reveals to us very clearly how to live a life that is "happy" and full of peace.  "Happy are those who observe 
God's decrees, who seek the Lord with 
all their heart." 

However, with man's sinful nature, we are
likely to fall far short.  God never intended
to justify anyone through the Law of Moses. 
Rather, the law shows us where we are sinful.
Fortunately for us, God sent his son among us 
to redeem us from those sins   

If we are not sure where sin lurks in our lives,
then our prayer becomes the words of the
psalmist, “Give me discernment, that I may
observe your law and keep it with all my heart.” 

The closer we walk with the Lord, the brighter
He shines his goodness into the darkest corners
of our minds and hearts.  And it's exactly the
purity of our innermost thoughts and motives
that matters most to the Lord.  Even the Scribes
and Pharisees were good at following the law
with their actions.  The Gospel asks us to delve
further than that, and make following the law
about the condition of our inner selves.
(Matthew 5: 17-37)

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection  

1.  Our psalmist affirms that those who walk in the law of the Lord, those 
who observe His decrees, will be happy and blessed.   Based on your own experience, how does our Savior lift you back up and restore you when you  stumble?

 2.  The Psalm's verses petition the Lord to instruct us in the way of His  statutes.  Tell of how you receive guidance and discernment from 
the Lord that will help you observe His law and keep it with all your heart.



Monday, February 3, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, February 9, 2020


Reflections 


“Light shines through the darkness 
for the upright.”

The Psalm inspires us to have 
a right relationship with the Lord by becoming 'upright.'   
Having done so, having delighted in God's commands, we begin to imitate Him and treat our brothers and sisters 
as He would do.

“Light shines through the darkness for 
the upright; he is gracious and merciful and just.”  
These are heavenly qualities 
(being gracious, and merciful and just),
and having God's light in our hearts 
inspires us to do good works, 
to “conduct our affairs with justice,” 
“give to the poor lavishly.”

And as we measure out a good 
and generous measure, our measure 
is returned to us many times over.  
As the Psalm says, we will be lifted up 
from within; our "horn shall be exalted 
in glory."

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm's verses are in keeping with this Sunday's Gospel
and the reading from Isaiah.  All three affirm that we people of
faith are the 'light of the world' and are motivated to do good deeds. 
Give an example of how your light shines through in the darkness.

2.  Our psalmist speaks of a man whose 'heart is firm, trusting in
the Lord,' whose 'heart is steadfast.'   In our world today, what makes
you firm of heart and trusting in the Lord? 


 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, February 2, 2020


Reflections

Psalm 24:  7, 8, 9, 10  (Read)

“Lift up, O gates, reach up,
that the king of glory may come in!”













Scripture tells us that even the heavens 
cannot contain Him, yet our Lord is
content to build a house within our
hearts.  Our own bodies become temples
of the Lord, and we must throw open
the gates of our hearts and let Him enter.
He is the king of glory!

The psalm celebrates Christ's ascension into
the holy city of Jerusalem, and reminds us
that He is 'mighty in battle,' able to defeat
whatever dark forces are present within us.
We herald His coming, our gates our lifted,
'that the king of glory may come in.'  He is
'strong and mighty' and will protect us from
all our enemies, external and internal.

The psalm reminds us we are to prepare
to receive our Lord.  We must be clean of
hand and pure of heart; we must 'reach up
our portals' to a higher level if we are truly
to become a temple of God.

The Psalm is guiding us to prepare ourselves
from within, so that we are made ready to
receive Him when He comes.  Our psalmist
tells us that those who love the Lord and those
who seek God's face will receive Him.  Just as
Jesus is consecrated to the Lord in this Sunday's
Gospel, just so must we be consecrated before
we can receive Jesus in our hearts.  When we are
ready, we can join with the psalmist and say
confidently, 'It is the Lord!'

Amen


 

Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm twice urges us to lift up our gates that the king of glory 

may come in.   What are you doing to prepare a place for the Lord 
in your heart?

2.  Our Lord will build a house within our hearts if we allow Him to do so.  

Once your body becomes a temple of the Lord, how will this change 
your behavior?


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, January 26, 2020


Reflections


“The Lord is my light and my salvation.”

The Psalm is about trusting the
Lord and our desire to spend
the rest of our days in His
presence. The Psalm says,
"One thing I ask of the Lord;
this I seek: to dwell in the 
house of the Lord all the days
of my life.”

Perhaps this desire to be with
the Lord is what inspired Simon
Peter and his brother Andrew
that day by the Sea of Galilee,
when they left their father and
their nets to follow Jesus and
be his disciples (Sunday's Gospel).
Surely, Peter and Andrew recognized
Jesus as their own personal light
and their own personal Savior. 
As the Psalm says, "The Lord is
my light and my salvation."

As we grow older, we too take steps
on our journey to be with the Lord,
to enter His house.  Recall that Jesus
said, “My house has many mansions.” 
It is no accident that older people
want to go to daily Mass and be with
the Lord as much as possible.  They
are called to that promise of eternal
joy when they may “gaze on the
loveliness of the Lord” all the days
of their lives.

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Two verses of the Psalm assure us that we should not fear, or be afraid
of anyone, so long as the Lord is our refuge and our salvation.  How do you
apply these verses to your daily life?

2.  Our psalmist asks, "To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life
that I may gaze on the loveliness of the Lord."   Where is the house of the Lord,
and how do you believe you will get there?



Monday, January 13, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, January 19, 2020


Reflections
 

Psalm 40:  2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10   (Read)


“He put a new song into my mouth.”

Our psalmist David waits for the Lord,
to reach out to Him, to make God hear 

his cry.  We are like that.  We are weak 
on our own; we need the Lord’s strength 
to be delivered from our sinful ways.

As the prophet Isaiah says, God is our
strength 
(Isaiah 49:5).  We put our trust
in Him.  Our God is an awesome God.
“Many shall look on [our God] in awe
and trust in the Lord.” We are called to be
God's holy people, as St Paul tells us 

(1 Corinthians 1:2).

Our psalmist says, “He put a new song into
my mouth.” In response we sing a new song
unto the Lord.  For us, having waited for
the Lord, it is no longer the same old tune
or the same old us.   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.

We are called to follow Christ.
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.  The Psalm Response this Sunday is, "Here am I, Lord;
I come to do your will."  Speak of how you discern God's will
in your life, and tell how you are carrying out what God wants 

you to do.

2.  Our psalmist David says, "God put a new song into my mouth."  

Have you too had a conversion in your walk with the Lord?  Tell of 
your own experience.



Monday, January 6, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, January 12, 2020


Reflections

Psalm 29:  1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10   (Read)

“The God of glory thunders.”

The Psalm is about the splendor and the 

power of God.  “Give to the Lord the glory 
due God’s name.  Bow down before the 
Lord’s holy splendor.”  The Psalm speaks 
of the voice of the Lord “thundering” over 
the waters.   “The voice of the Lord is 
power; the voice of the Lord is splendor.”

God's awesome voice was heard over the 

Jordan River that day when the heavens 
were torn open and the Holy Spirit descended 
upon Jesus just after He was baptized.  What 
could be more powerful than the voice of God 
declaring, “This is my beloved Son, with whom 
I am well pleased.” (Gospel, Matthew 3:17)

What happened at the Jordan River that day 

was to fulfill what God said to the prophet Isaiah – 
“Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen 
one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have 
put my spirit.”  (Isaiah 42:1)

The baptism of our Lord may have happened 

over 2000 years ago, but on that day God 
anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power, 
the power to serve the faithful (people like us), 
and to do battle on our behalf with the 
devil. (Acts 10:38)

From that time forward we too became eligible 

to serve the Lord as His chosen ones.   Isaiah 
tells us what our spiritual mission is to be:  
like Jesus, we are to be a light to the nations, 
and open the eyes of the blind (those who do 
not know the Lord).  (Isaiah 42:6-7)
And imitating Jesus, we are to bring out 

prisoners from confinement (those who may 
be imprisoned by sin).  What better way 
would there be for us to serve the Lord?

Amen



 Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm's verses speak of the power and splendor of the voice 

of the Lord, thundering over the waters.   Have you heard God's powerful 
voice speaking to you, anointing you as one of His chosen ones? 
Explain.

2.  Our psalmist encourages us to give God the glory due His holy name.  

Tell of how you give God the glory in your activities and your everyday life.