Monday, November 26, 2012

Psalm for Sunday, December 2, 2012


Psalm 25:  4-5, 8-9, 10, 14

“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.  As our
psalmist says, the Lord is compassionate
and loving.  All we have to do is to
humble ourselves before Him and keep
His covenant.

“Make known to me your ways, Lord;

teach me your paths.”
The prophets tell us that if we follow
the Lords way, we will  be able to turn
away from sin and avoid death.  And
how does the Lord show us the way?
By sending us His son, who is the way,
the truth, and the life!

We know that salvation is available to

us through the coming of the Messiah.
Our psalmist, David, celebrates the
coming of Christ when he says, “You
are God my savior, for you I wait all
the day long.”

And where does the power come from

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



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalm response this Sunday is, 'To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.'
As we begin the season of Advent, speak of how you are raised up
spiritually by the coming arrival of our Lord.

2.  Our psalmist petitions the Lord to make known His ways and teach
us His paths.  Tell of how you have been shown direction by the Lord
along the path of life.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Psalm for Sunday, November 25, 2012, Christ the King


Psalm 93:  1, 1-2, 5

 "The Lord is King, robed in majesty."

The Psalm celebrates God’s Kingdom,
in which the Lord reigns with majesty,
“girded with might.”  God revealed His
kingship when he created the world.
But it is during the end times that the
kingdom of God will be displayed in
all its glory.  This is in keeping with
our readings this week, in preparation
for our celebration of the Solemnity of
Christ the King this Sunday.

The prophet Daniel in our 1st reading

speaks of the coming of the Son of Man
during the end times.  Our 2nd reading
from Revelation is more explicit and
brings us into the picture.  Christ’s blood
frees us, and makes us into a kingdom,
where we become priests for God the Father.

The kingdom is to be ruled under the

Lord's decrees, which are firmly established,
as the Psalm reminds us.  But as Jesus says
in the Gospel, His kingdom is not of this world.
His kingdom cannot be observed.  But surely
it is among us, and most certainly, in our hearts.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist proclaims, "The Lord is king,
robed with majesty, girded with might."  Yet our
Lord Jesus did not seek a kingdom belonging to
this world.  Where do you find the kingdom of
the Lord?   How do you reach our mighty Lord?

2.  The Psalm says that the Lord's throne stands
firm and is everlasting.  In what way do you gain
strength from this verse?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Psalm for Sunday, November 18, 2012


Psalm 16:  5, 8, 9-10, 11

“With the Lord at my right hand,
 I shall never be shaken.”

This psalm of David speaks to us

about a belief in an everlasting life
with God.  “Lord, my allotted
portion and my cup, you have made
my destiny secure.”

The psalmist takes refuge in the Lord --

“With the Lord at my right hand,
I shall never be shaken … my body
also dwells secure.”

The distress that the prophet Daniel

speaks about in our lst reading is
overcome by the assurance in the psalm
that the Lord will not abandon his
people (us).  “For you will not abandon
my soul to the netherworld, nor let your
faithful servant see the pit.”

Finally, we can understand the last

verses as a prophecy of the resurrection
of Christ, with the full expectation of the
glorious day when we will see God’s son
seated at the right hand of the Father.
“You will show me the path to life,
abounding joy in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.”

These same verses  are quoted by

St. Peter in his speech to the Israelites
at Pentecost.  Peter also uses the psalm
as a prophecy that Jesus would be
raised up and would sit at the right
hand of the Father.  For us these are
encouraging words, with a promise
that we too can look forward to being
lifted up and spending the rest of our
days in the presence of the Lord.

The Lord promises, if we are his faithful

servants, that we will not have to see the pit;
He will not abandon us.  As David says,
this is enough to make our hearts glad
and our souls rejoice.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist says that he will not be shaken or disturbed
so long as the Lord is with him at his right hand.  Speak of how
the Lord enables you to be strong, so that your faith cannot be shaken.

2.  The Psalm says that the Lord will show us the path to life.
Explain what this verse means to you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Psalm for Sunday, November 11, 2012


Psalm 146:  7, 8-9, 9-10

“The Lord gives food to the hungry,
sets captives free.”

The Psalm sings of the promises

of the prophets.   Just as Elijah
promised the widow in our lst reading
that she would not go hungry,
so does the Psalm promise that
the Lord will give food to the hungry.

But the Lord’s promises go far

beyond flour and oil.  His promises
are fulfilled in the arrival of Jesus,
who once and for all appears before us,
and who is that holy sacrifice that
redeems us (Hebrews, 2nd reading).

Christ carries out the promises of

the Psalm – He sets us captives free
and gives sight to us so we can truly see.

As in the Gospel and the story of

the poor widow, the Lord raises us
up when we are down.  He sustains us --
with real food and drink.

“The Lord raises up those who were

bowed down.”  We are all bowed down
because of our brokenness at one time
or another.  And where do we turn
to be lifted up and made whole again?
We turn to the Lord.  Who else has
the grace and the mercy to heal us?

The Psalm contains encouraging words

not only for poor widows but for each
of us as well.  When were we oppressed,
or hungry, or in prison?  Have we not
been under pressure from the evil one
to commit sin?  Have we not been held
captive at one time or another by our sins?
And do we not experience a hunger for
the Lord and for a deeper faith?

That same power that gives sight to the

blind and raises up those who are bowed
down is available to lift us up away
from whatever imprisons us.  All it takes
is to receive Him and open our hearts
to the Lord our Savior.

So we can pray this Psalm, not only in

honor of the heavenly Father, but also
in honor of Christ, whom God exalted.
And having done that, we can join with
the psalmist and sing, “The Lord shall
reign forever; our God, through all


Discussion Questions for Reflection

Our psalmist promises that the Lord will secure justice
for the oppressed and set captives free.   In what ways have
you been imprisoned, and how has the Lord set you free?

2.  The Psalm says the Lord gives food to the hungry. 
Describe how the Lord has given you real food and drink
to satisfy your hunger for a closer relationship with Him.