Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Psalm for Sunday, November 4, 2012


Psalm 18:  2-3, 3-4, 47, 51

“The Lord Lives!”

The Psalm is saying that the Lord

is present to us, here and now, just as
He was when He delivered 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.

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,
my saving horn, my stronghold.” David
has just emerged after being saved
by God from his enemies and the clutches
of King Saul.  David has been rescued by
that same God of compassion and mercy
that spoke to Moses.

David says, “You have shown kindness to

your anointed.”  God promises to hear us
when we cry out to Him as our psalmist

David praises his savior in language that

is familiar to us as his spiritual descendents:
“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.



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist exclaims, 'The Lord lives!'  Speak of how
the Lord is present to you and why you believe He is your rock,
your fortress, here and now.

2.  The Psalm makes it clear that David loves the Lord and
that the Lord is the source of his strength.  Describe your love
for the Lord and how you have been led to serve Him and
praise Him.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Psalm for Sunday, October 28, 2012


Psalm 126:  1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6

"Those who go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown, 
shall come back rejoicing, carrying
their sheaves."

The Psalm celebrates the reversal
of Israel’s fortune, and return
from exile, which could not have
occurred without God’s intervention.
The verses reflect praise for what
the Lord has done.  “The Lord has
done great things for them.”
The Lord did a great thing for
the Israelites when he “restored
the fortunes of Zion,” as the
psalmist says, and freed the
remnant from exile. 

The Psalm is also a petition asking

the Lord to look after the future
of the remnant.  And there is an
expectation that God will guide
them in achieving prosperity. 
“Restore again our fortunes,
Lord, like the dry stream beds
of the Negev.” This calls to mind
our lst reading in Jeremiah,
where God promises to lead the
remnant to brooks of water,
so that a good harvest is assured.
We too are looking for that water
which restores, and renews,
cleanses us and purifies us, that
living water which satisfies our
spiritual thirst.

The Psalm also reminds us that

the truly great thing the Lord has
done for us is to send his only
begotten son to be by our side.
Jesus’ presence is a guarantee
of a spiritual harvest that leads
to our own salvation.  Just as the
blind man in the Gospel is healed
by his own faith, the Lord promises
us a transition from a sinful existence
to a world of joy.

The Psalm says it well, “Those who

go forth weeping, carrying the seed
to be sown, shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.”  And therein
lies a lesson for us – to let go of our
own baggage, and pick up the Lord’s
burden, where we know his yoke is easy.

Whatever type of spiritual exile

may discourage us or imprison us,
Jesus shows us a way out.  God is in
the business of deliverance and
as Jeremiah confirms in our 1st reading,
we go among the blind and the lame
to the promised land. 

We carry our sacks with us and

from those seeds that we sow is
contained the promise of new life,
the reversal of whatever misfortune
may trouble us.  When the harvest
comes in, we can join with the
psalmist and sing, "Our mouths are filled
with laughter, our tongues sing for joy.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm alludes to a reversal of spiritual
exile that may apply to people like us.  Tell of how
the Lord has brought you back from a time of being
distant from Him.

2.  Our psalmist suggests that we carry the seeds of
our own salvation even while we go forth weeping.
Speak of how your faith has saved you, when you
looked to the Lord for healing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Psalm for Sunday, October 21, 2012


Psalm 33:  4-5, 18-19, 20, 22

“Our soul waits for the Lord,
who is our help and our shield.”

The Psalm is written in praise
of God’s power and providence.
It is the Lord’s design for His
people that stands through all
the generations.  It is through
His Plan that we are saved.
Our own feeble efforts count for
nothing.  We must be submissive
and abandon ourselves to His Plan,
just as Jesus tells us in the Gospel.

And how do we know His Plan?
The lst reading (Isaiah) pretty
graphically outlines what God
has in mind for His son – that
he be “crushed for our offenses.”
This is how we are delivered from
death.  The psalmist has it right,
“The Lord’s eyes are upon those
who fear Him … to deliver them
from death.”

In our 2nd reading, the letter to the
Hebrews answers the question,
“How can we approach the throne
of God?”  The answer is with confidence,
and then we will find “mercy and grace.”
The theme of the Psalm is the same,
“The Lord’s eyes are upon those Who
hope for His grace.”

Because Christ humbles himself for
our sake, becomes a slave to our sin,
there is hope for us, even in our time
of spiritual famine

It is said that even people who have
no faith have a longing in their hearts
for God.  There is something missing
in their lives.  For us who are believers,
we are dependent on the Lord – we
openly ask for His help and His protection.
He is our shield in the spiritual battle
that we all have to fight.

If we trust in the Lord, His eyes will be
upon us, and we can expect to receive
His grace.  And through His grace we
are delivered from death, kept alive in
times of spiritual famine.  And for this
we praise the Lord, as the psalmist says,
we know He will fill the earth with
goodness, and His kindness will be
upon us.  The Psalm ends on a positive
note, “Lord we have put our hope in you.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The psalmist says, 'Our soul waits for the Lord.' 
Tell of how you have a spiritual hunger for the Lord 

in your life, and explain how the Lord satisfies your longing.

2.  The psalm's verses state that, 'The eyes of the Lord are 

upon those who fear Him.'   Do you feel the eyes of the Lord 
upon you because you hold Him in awe?  Explain.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Psalm for Sunday, October 14, 2012


Psalm 90:  12-13, 14-15, 16-17

“Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.”

The Psalm reminds us that man’s
days are numbered, and that
we should use our time wisely,
making our days and our life
count for something.  And how
do we do that?  We do it by being
open to the wisdom of God.
Just as Solomon preferred the
gift of wisdom over material wealth
(Wisdom, 1st reading), so too
do we see the advantage of using
our time wisely by doing the Lord's will.

Although we may never receive
the wisdom of Solomon that
our 1st reading talks about,
we can hope for some ability
to be detached from worldly things,
which can separate us from God.

How do we do this?  Where does
the ability come from, to cut through
all our present day concerns?
It comes from the Word –
“The Word of God is ... sharper
than any two-edged sword,
penetrating even between soul
and spirit, joints and marrow ….”
(Hebrews, 2nd reading).

Scripture teaches us that the Word
will give us a correct view of life,
and this will allow us to have
a right relationship with the Lord.
Having got that right, we may
receive the favor of the Lord
and be counted among his sheep.
As the Psalm says, “May the favor
of the Lord our God be ours.”

How much better will our lives be
if we may sing for joy, as the psalmist
says, and be filled at daybreak
with the love of the Lord.
And having received God’s favor,
we will want to be His servants
and do His work.  We will become
laborers in the field where the
harvest is plentiful.  And as the
Psalm says, “The work of our hands
will prosper.”



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm speaks about using our time wisely. 
Tell of how you set your priorities so that you are
serving God and doing His will.

2.  Our psalmist talks of how we may gain 'wisdom of heart.'
Give an example of how you are receiving wisdom
to discern a correct view of life so that you will not offend the Lord.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Psalm for Sunday, October 7, 2012


Psalm 128:  1-2, 3, 4-5, 6

“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home.”

Our psalmist tells us that
a man who has a right relationship
with the Lord will also obtain
a right relationship with his wife
and his family.

And walking in the ways of the Lord
will be reflected in the way a man
treats his wife.  A man’s wife is after all,
“bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh.”
(Genesis, 1st reading)

As Christ nourishes the Church,
so a man cherishes his wife,
and nourishes his relationship with her.
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.

If we have a right relationship with
the Lord, we will know how to treat
our wives and our children, and in turn,
we will discover how blessed we are
in our home and by the presence
of our family.  “Just so will they be blessed
who fear the Lord.”

Having been so favored by God,
we understand why, “A man shall leave
his father and mother and be joined
to his wife.”  God made them one flesh,
and, “What God has joined, no human
being may separate.” (Gospel)

If we fear the Lord and walk in His
ways, we will receive the blessings
of our labor, prosper in a material way,
and grow old gracefully in the company
of our wife and children.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist speaks of the benefits of a right relationship with the Lord.  
Tell of how fearing the Lord has led you to have a better relationship
with your spouse and your family members.

2.  The Psalm asks, "May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives." 
Recall how you have been blessed by God, both physically and spiritually,
and how you have been inspired to walk in His ways.