Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, February 10, 2013


Psalm 138:  1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8

"Lord your love endures forever,
never forsake the work of your hand.”

Our psalmist David composed
this prayer of a grateful heart.
“I will give thanks to you,
O Lord, with all my heart.”
The seraphim in our 1st reading
(Isaiah) cry out in a similar tone,
“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of
hosts, all the earth is filled with
His glory,”

David is grateful because his
petitions are answered by the Lord.
“For you have heard the words
of my mouth.”   The Lord's answers
to David's prayers have come at a
critical time, a time when our
psalmist is seeking to build up
his strength.

David  speaks of a divine rescue --
“When I cried out, you answered;
you strengthened my spirit.”
Perhaps we’re all in need of a
spiritual rescue of the type David
describes.  And it isn’t because
of any of the psalmist’s virtues
that he obtains salvation.  It is
a result of God’s loving fidelity.
“Lord, your love is eternal.”

Our God does not forsake the
work of His hands, though who
has given the Lord anything that
he may be repaid?  Unworthy as
we are, and though the Lord is
exalted, He watches over us in our
lowly state.  And thanks be to God,
His kindness endures forever.
St. Paul says the same thing in our
2nd reading,  “But by the grace
of God I am what I am.”

Our psalmist reminds us -- all God
has to do is stretch out his right hand,
and we will be saved.  “You stretch out
your hand, your right hand saves me.”
Jesus made a similar intervention
on behalf of St. Peter and his fishermen
companions in our Gospel reading,
when our Lord astonished Peter
at the catch of fish they had made.
And on that same  day at the Lake
of Gennesaret Jesus empowered Peter
to become a true apostle and a catcher
of men by following the Lord.

Our psalm concludes in a grateful and
affirming theme, showing how Peter
probably felt, as he fell on his face
at the feet of the Lord that day by the lake.
“The Lord is with me to the end.
Lord your love endures forever,
never forsake the work of your hand.”



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist affirms, 'When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.'   Speak of your own experience
when you were in need of the Lord's help to build up your spiritual vigor.

2.  David pleads with God, 'forsake not the work of your hands.'  
As a child of God, tell of how you can expect the Lord to love you forever unconditionally.


  1. Dave Lyons4:58 PM

    Throughout the day, every day, I find myself calling out to the Lord for His strength to protect me from temptations, from the snares of the devil and evil spirits, and to strengthen me to avoid committing sins that I am prone to commit whenever I let my guard down. It is through His continued strength freely given to those of us who ask for it that helps us avoid sin or to seek forgiveness when we do sin through His sacrament of Reconciliation.

    I need God’s help daily and am so thankful to know that He is there for me personally, and for all.

  2. j. kim4:34 PM

    It is of great comfort (and some amusement) to me... that powerful prophets like Isaiah, key apostles such as Paul and Peter, and of course, our flawed but loveable Psalmist David, all felt unworthy of their calling. I relate to feeling not good enough to do the Lord's work. I often picture myself a modern-day Jonah, trying to find a big whale in which to hide. I have literally tried to run from the Lord's will before. When a parish we were visiting put out a plea for KIDSWORD teachers, I tried to sneak out of Church that day through a side entrance, not the front doors. I had felt a tug at my heart to volunteer, but I also reasoned myself out of it because we were new in town. The Lord's plans were not to be outmaneuvered. I physically bumped into the head coordinator who was exiting the same way. She saw me, sensed the Lord's will for me, and I became a Catechist for children for the next 7 years. In addition to physically trying to run from the Lord, I have mentally tried to hide from Him. How the gift of reason can be a double-edged sword! In recent months, I have come up with excuse after excuse for not doing what I know the Lord wants of me. It's not always that I'm refusing God, but just saying "Later, Lord." Procrastination is such a sign of the enemy. At the end of the day, if I am not walking in the will of the Lord, I know it. I am not at peace. I am running. I am out of breath. I am tired. My spiritual vigor is renewed when I say "yes" to His perfect plan. And in His unconditional love, He responds with strength and fresh forgiveness each time, no matter how long I make Him wait. I give thanks for such a loving, patient, and merciful God.

  3. I personally took for granted God's love, and goodness to me. I praised God and gave Him thanks for answered prayers. My human love is limited, selfish and conditional to compare with His unconditional love for me. His plan works out throughout my life. He brought me safe through my difficulties I faced in the past, even though I don't quite understand His plan and His will for my future. I was so fearful and not comprehending that I closed my eyes and shut my ears whenever I heard inner voices within me saying, "be a faithful servant." Sometimes it
    stirred my heart wishing to be a catcher of man by following the Lord.

    But after all I'm a hearer but not a doer. I'm not ready to die to myself. On my part I hate to give up my own comfort and time. In spite of all my shortcomings God accepts me the way I am with His unconditional love, faithfulness and mercy. He'll never forsake me; instead He'll comfort me and give me strength and teach me how to be patient. As a child of God, I took advantage of Him over and over again. I know He still calls me by my name. What an awesome God I have! I exalt His name above all.