Monday, February 25, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, March 3, 2013


Psalm 103: 1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 11


“As the heavens tower over the
earth, so God's mercy towers
over those who fear Him.”


Our psalmist sings the praises
of a divine and loving God,
who surrounds us with compassion,
pardons our sins, heals our ills.


God will deliver us as He delivered
the Israelites from their affliction
at the hands of the Egyptians (1st reading).
“God delivers your life from the pit,
surrounds you with love and compassion.”


God nurses no lasting anger;  He has
not dealt with us as our sins deserve.
But God demands something of us
in return – that we cleanse ourselves
from evil desires and avoid sin.
St. Paul warns us, “Whoever thinks
he is standing secure should take care
not to fall.” (2nd reading).  Jesus says
it more powerfully in today's Gospel,
“If you do not repent, you will all perish.”


The Lord’s patience with us is a gift –
“Merciful and gracious is the Lord,
slow to anger, abounding in kindness.”
Our duty is to remain faithful to the Lord,
as His children, and to treat His anointed ones
with love and compassion, as He would do.


We are to be merciful to our enemies by
imitating Jesus.  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 have compassion
on those we may be inclined to condemn.


We cannot imitate God without a share
in Christ’s divinity, by allowing the Holy
Spirit within us to guide us.  Only then
will we have the kind of compassion the
Psalm speaks about.


And as our psalmist says, God’s love will
tower over us if we are his faithful.
If we love the Lord, it will show in our hearts,
and the old things will then pass away. 
What could be a better lesson for our
Lenten journey.



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist assures us that God in His compassion
will redeem our life from the 'pit.'  But we must do our part
and show repentance.  Describe how during Lent you are
becoming kinder and more merciful to your family and your neighbors.

2.  The Psalm inspires us to bless the Lord and 'forget not all
His benefits.'  Speak of your gratitude for the gifts you have received from God.


  1. For me, it is difficult to have compassion for those whom I see continually making bad choices for themselves and the community. When someone slips up and makes a bad choice it is much easier to forgive the first time. When they continue to make bad choices,it is much more difficult for me to forgive and not to condemn the sinner and/or the sin. I need to spend more time listening to the Holy Spirit.

  2. Praise the Lord, oh my soul! Does my life really praise the Lord with a thanksgiving heart like the Psalmist did? Did I express my appreciation for all my blessings and gifts from God? I did neither of them. Although I did verbally, it was not from the bottom of my heart. I felt guilty about it. After all, I'm a helpless human being with a sinful nature. Even though God sustained my life this far, I was ungrateful. I have taken for granted His blessings and His mercy. I know my entire mindset was wrong.

    Lenten season reminds me of Jesus' love; His Passion; His suffering and death Our obligation is fasting; prayer; self-sacrificing; and almsgiving. Whenever I think of Jesus' suffering, my tears are rolling down my cheeks with repentance for my past sins. The gift of tears is a blessing I think. On the other hand, I give Him the glory and praise His victory over death. He conquered death for us. He set us free from Satan's bondage. He is worthy to be praised by us.

    Yes, I'm blessed with God's blessings so that I can bless others who are in need. In this special time of Lenten practice, I can be more generous, be more kind and thoughtful and forgiving toward my family and my neighbors. And moreover, I have to control and to learn how to hold my sharp tongue with the help of God's grace when my anxiety level is high. He'll mold me into a better person gradually.