Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Psalm for Sunday, August 12, 2012


Psalm 34:  2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

“Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”

What does Jesus tell us to do in this week’s Gospel?
Taste his flesh and see that we will have life.
However difficult Jesus’ words may have been
for the Jews to accept (or for us), 
the psalmist is right  --
“Blessed the man who takes refuge in Him.”
Where else would we turn when we are in distress?
“When the afflicted man called out, the Lord heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.”
Just as the Lord answered Elijah
and delivered him from his despair,
so He delivers us from whatever
has bogged us down spiritually.

“My soul will glory in the Lord,
that the poor may hear and be glad.”
The word poor is said to apply to one
who depends completely on God
for his deliverance and his very life.
That’s where Elijah stood that day
in the early stages of his long journey,
totally dependent on God for the strength
to walk the walk that was planned
for him (1st reading).
And if the truth were to be known,
that’s where we stand even today,
when we are short of endurance
along our spiritual journey.

The psalmist recounts for us
how he gained deliverance,
“I sought the Lord, who answered me,
delivered me from all my fears.”
Despite the anguish in the psalmist’s voice,
there is also a powerful, joyful spirit –
“Look to God that you may be radiant with joy,
And your faces may not blush with shame.”

Where does our joy come from?
How do we obtain a joyful spirit?
It comes from repenting and returning to the Lord.
Only then can we be embraced by the Lord.
Having humbled ourselves before Him,
confessed our sins, He takes us back.

He watches for us each day,
encouraging us.   He reconciles us
and restores us in a right relationship with the Father.
And He provides the inner strength we need
to complete our own spiritual journey.


 Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist tells us how to obtain a joyful spirit,
"Look to the Lord that you may be radiant with joy."
Describe how the Lord has given you inner joy in the
course of relieving you from your afflictions.

2.  The Psalm says that the angel of the Lord 'encamps'
around those who fear Him and delivers them.  
Speak of how your faith has been a source of strength and deliverance
in the face of difficulty or persecution.


  1. l. In the past, whenever I faced afflictions and difficulty, at first I was so depressed and angry towards God. Why me? Why now? I said this is not the right time for me to suffer. I tried to manipulate God's Good Nature without any further thought. I tried to analyze His Will for me instead of obeying Him and repenting of my sins. Now I have become a more mature Christian. I have developed so that I put my faith in God, because I have tasted the goodness of the Lord. After I have suffered a little while he'll strengthen me and restore me and make me strong in my faith, and I will trust in Him. My faith will be firm and steadfast, but I won't be totally obedient. My spiritual journey is still up and down. But through my repentance He takes me back. He bestows Grace and love on me.
    In Romans 5:3: "We also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit." And so I can be radiant with inner joy in spite of difficulty and sufferings. At least I can be in union with His suffering a little bit.

  2. Joy comes from our being "at Peace with God, ourselves, and our neighbors." If we are not "at Peace"......we should be asking ourselves......"What's blocking the joy?" And then, we should ask for God's help, and deal with it. For me, my faith and belief in God have been a continuing source of inner strength and Peace.

  3. With all of the distractions of everyday life, it seems to us that we "never have the time" to have a strong relationship with God. Sadly, it is also very hard to start getting a strong relationship with Him. However, if we try for long enough and truly care to get it, God will always be there for us. It's not enough to just do some simple things. We have do many things throughout our entire lives.