Monday, May 27, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, June 2, 2013


Psalm 110: 1, 2, 3, 4


“The Lord said to my Lord:  'Sit at my right
hand till I make your enemies your footstool.”


Our psalmist David, speaks of the Messiah
who is to come.   For us, the psalm is about
the anointing of Jesus as our Savior,
Jesus as the everlasting King and Priest. 
Christ will take His throne at the right hand
of God, as our psalmist predicts.  Christ will
make His enemies His footstool.   He is able
to do this because the Father has empowered
Him to rule over His enemies.   


And how does Christ's victory affect us earthly
humans?   The truth is that we too are in the midst
of the same spiritual battle that Christ has already
fought.  And His victory means for us that we can
be victors as well – victors, not victims.  And for that,
we praise God and give thanks to our King.


This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of  the
Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi).
How is it that Jesus, anointed as the everlasting King
and Priest, humbled himself to pour out his blood
on the cross for us, common sinners?  How is it that
such a mighty King is willing to co-mingle his very
flesh and blood with our own fallen flesh and blood?
All we can know is that God's plan intends that His
perfect divine presence enters into our fallen, human
presence and offers healing, wisdom, salvation,
and hope. (Word Among Us, June 2nd)


How blessed we are that although we are not worthy
to receive Him, He gives us angels' food, bread from
heaven – “He fed them with the finest wheat and satisfied
them with honey from the rock.” (Ps 81: 17)


Our Lord is both shepherd and lamb to us,
His well tended flock.  As the Paschal lamb, He spilled
His lifeblood for us, feeding us as God sent manna to
our spiritual fathers.
“Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
Jesus, You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow.” (Sequence, Laud, O Zion)

How remarkable that our Lord, though seated
at the right hand of the Father, comes down from
heaven so that we sinners might have a share
in His divinity.  “I am the living bread that came down
from heaven, says the Lord; whoever eats this bread
will live forever.” (Jn 6: 51)  


We are inspired to offer our prayers of thanksgiving
to our Lord --

“Grant O Lord, we pray,
that we may delight for all eternity
in that share in your divine life,
which is foreshadowed in the present age
by our reception of your precious Body and Blood.”

(Mass, Prayer after Communion, June 2nd)



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm speaks of the anointing of Jesus as our Savior, 

who will rule in the midst of His enemies.  Tell of how you 
have relied on our Savior to fight your spiritual enemies on your behalf.

2.  With our Lord so powerful and seated at the right hand of the Father, 

does it surprise you that He would come down from heaven to mingle
His precious body and blood with our human flesh and blood?  Explain 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, May 26, 2013

Psalm 8:  4-5, 6-7, 8-9


“What is man that you are mindful of him?
Yet you have made him little less than a god.”  


Why did our Creator give us life?
Why are we given rule over God's works,
and why did He put all things under our feet?
These age old questions are raised again
by our psalmist, David, who is awed that God
has made us so much like heavenly beings.


It is clear that we are made in the image of God,
and we are His children.  As Wisdom tells us,
God takes delight in his children.  And St. Paul

reminds us that the Love of God has been poured
out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit within us. 
God dwells within us that we might have a share in
His divinity.  And Isaiah reminds us, “The creator
established the earth, not creating it to be a wasteland,
but designing it to be lived in.”

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the
Holy Trinity, and we are told by our psalmist that
we are made “little less than the angels.”
Having been baptized in the Spirit, we are able
to experience the divine Trinity within us.  It is said
that we shall feel a resemblance to God in our souls. 
'It is in the most secret recesses of the soul that God
is known, in which he acts and exists.  God is one with us;
we can no more separate ourselves from God than
from our own selves.'  (Father John Tauler)

The Catechism teaches that God has destined us
to share in the exchange of love among the Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit.   'Man's living area is
broadened and raised up to the supernatural level
of divine life.' (Blessed John Paul II)  


'The Father has sent the Spirit into our hearts
so that we cry “Abba, Father.”   God is nearer
to us than we are to ourselves through
the divine indwelling' (Magnificat).  If that is so,
then we should be devoted to bearing fruit and
lifting up our brothers and sisters, fulfilling the
gifts of the Spirit that have been given to us.
If we do that,  God will truly be pleased, and
what better way is there to praise Him than by
doing His work.  “O Lord, our God, how wonderful
your name in all the earth!”  'Blessed are you O Lord,
in the heavens above and on earth below.'



Discussion Questions for Reflection 

1.  Our Psalmist says that we are made 'little less than
the angels,and crowned with glory and honor.' 
As a child of God, speak of how you are doing the work
of the Lord and how you know He takes pleasure in what you do.

2.  The Psalm tells us that the Lord has given us humans dominion
over all the beasts of the field ... and whatever swims the paths
of the seas.'  We know also that the earth was designed to be lived in. 
What are you doing to be a good steward over the 'works of His hands?'


Monday, May 13, 2013

Psalm for Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2013


Psalm 104:  1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34

“When you send forth
your spirit, they are created.”

Animated by the Spirit, the divine breath,
we who are His creatures sing of the glory
of our Creator.

“When you send forth your Spirit,
you renew the face of the earth.”
God our Creator is the source of all natural
life.  So also the Holy Spirit is the source
of all supernatural life.  We are nothing
without the divine breath --
“When you take away their breath,
they perish and return to their dust.”

It is this same creative breath that came
down on the disciples in that locked room
St. Luke speaks of in our 1st reading.
The Holy Spirit empowered the disciples
to go forth and proclaim the Gospel boldly
to men of all nations, speaking different tongues.

We too are called to be baptized in the Spirit,
and to receive the divine breath of the Lord.
Having been baptized in the Spirit, we are a
new creation, and are called to glorify the Lord
in what we do.  In this way, as the Psalm says,
“May the Lord be glad in his works.”

Fortunately, for us too, the Spirit is manifested
in each of us for some benefit, as St. Paul reminds
us in our 2nd reading.  All we have to do is
accept Christ and believe in him.

Without the breath of the Holy Spirit, we have
no spiritual life.  But thanks to God's gift,
we are a new creation; we are baptized into Christ,
and we share in the divinity of our Lord.
And that alone gives us reason to praise God.
As our psalmist says, “Pleasing to him be my theme;
I will be glad in the Lord.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  As in our Psalm, do you also feel the presence
of the 'divine breath' in your spiritual life?  Speak of
how the Holy Spirit is at work in your life.

2.  Our psalmist says that the Spirit of the Lord
'renews the face of the earth.'   Tell of how you are
a new creation, after having been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, May 12, 2013


Psalm 47:  2-3, 6-7, 8-9


“God mounts His throne amid shouts of joy.”

This week we celebrate the Ascension of
our Lord, who was taken up to heaven
to be seated at the right hand of the Father,
far above every principality, with authority
over every nation, as our 2nd reading tells us.
With such an awesome God on His throne,
what hope do we have as mere human beings
that we will ever be able to approach Him?
How far above us can this Jesus be, if He is
taken up to heaven and has all things put
beneath His feet?


Power is often associated with arrogance and
brutal treatment, but our God uses His power
to work miracles, and bring about healing. 
And His power is expressed by His love, by
which we are raised up with Jesus.  He is risen,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father
in heaven.  Knowing this, 'We shout with joy,
and we praise Him.'


Though He has ascended, fortunately Jesus
leaves with us a way to share in His divinity,
through the Holy Spirit which he gives to us.
His power and presence remain within us,
so long as we repent from our sins and believe in Him.  


After Jesus' Ascension, the disciples began their
active ministry, empowered by the holy Spirit.
That same power is given to us  – we too are called
to ministry, to go into the world and proclaim the Gospel!
And for that we are inspired to praise the Lord;
as the psalmist says, “Clap your hands, shout to God
with cries of gladness ... sing praise to God!”



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  As per the Psalm and the readings this week,
our Lord has been raised up so high above
how do you reach Him, how do you build a personal
relationship with Him?

2.  The psalmist encourages us to clap our hands,
and shout to God with cries of gladness,
because God
mounts His throne.  Speak of how you are raised up
with our Lord Jesus, as He ascends to
sit at the right
hand of the Father.