Monday, June 24, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, June 30, 2013

Psalm 16:  1-2, 5, 7-8, 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 distress that afflicts us from time
to time when we feel separated from God
is overcome – “For you will not abandon
my soul to the netherworld, nor let your
faithful servant see the pit.”

We can understand the Psalm's
verses as a prophecy of the resurrection
of Christ, 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.  St. Peter also uses the Psalm
as a prophecy that Jesus is to be
raised up and will 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.  "Therefore my heart
is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence.”

Our burdens are made light;
His yoke is easy, and that gladdens the heart
and strengthens the body.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalmist speaks confidently about his belief in
an everlasting life with God.   Speak of how you are
confident about being raised up with the Lord and spending 

eternity in His presence.

2.  David says, "My Lord, you are my allotted portion 

and my cup."  Explain what these words mean to you.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, June 23, 2013


Psalm 63:  2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

“My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.”

This prayer of longing was written at a time when
David was in the desert, a place where physical
thirst was all around him and the earth was
parched, lifeless and without water.
But David is writing also about a spiritual thirst
that overwhelms him and reminds him
of the emptiness of life without God.


David meditates on those happier moments when
he was close to the Lord, when his soul
was satisfied as with the riches of a banquet,
and when he took shelter in the shadow of
the wings of God.


We too go through times of spiritual deprivation
when we walk away from God and indulge in
sinful practices that separate us from God.
At those times, like a penitent sinner, we
experience our deepest longing for the love of
the Lord and we seek out his loving embrace.
As our psalmist says, at times like that our soul
clings fast to the Lord, we bless him, we glorify him,
we praise him.



Discussion Questions for Reflection
1.  Our Psalmist is thirsting for the Lord.  Describe a time
in your life when you felt parched spiritually and you thirsted for God.

2.  Having called out to God, our Psalmist clings fast to Him.  What does

 it mean to you to have your soul satisfied, "As with the riches of a banquet?"

Monday, June 10, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, June 16, 2013


Psalm 32:  1-2, 5, 7, 11


“Then I declared my sin to you, and
 you took away the guilt of my sin.”


A simple act of confession, which sometimes
is so difficult for us, is how we get rid of the
torment in our lives that is a consequence of
unconfessed sin.   We all know the peace that
we obtain when we receive the Sacrament of
Confession, when our burden of guilt is lifted.
We are convicted of sin as was our psalmist
King David (1st reading), whose sins against
Uriah resulted in horrible consequences for
his family.  


We may not be able to avoid the consequences
of sin, but we can lift up the burden of sin and
give it to Jesus, our Savior.   After all, as scripture
tells us, Jesus came to heal the sick, and to forgive
sinners like us.  Having received the Lord's
forgiveness, we become the happy sinners that
our Psalmist talks about.  And that joy inspires us
to sing out and praise the Lord.


In this Psalm, one of David’s penitential psalms,
our Psalmist sings out about the heaviness of his sin,
that weighs upon him so long as he keeps silent.
David's sins were hidden in his heart.
Then when he declares his sin, and confesses his faults,
his burden is lifted and his guilt is taken away.


David is compelled to cry out “unclean, unclean”
and to seek God’s forgiveness in order to be healed.
We too are called to kneel before Jesus and beg
for mercy in order to receive His grace during
the Sacrament of Confession.


As Jesus says, it is what's inside our hearts
that needs to be purified.  And having been
cleansed from within, we really have something
to be joyful about.


We are all pitiful in the sight of Christ, but
once on our knees, having confessed and repented
of our sins, there is hope for us sinners whose sin
is forgiven.  As it says in the Psalm,
“Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.”


We all need a spiritual cleansing from time to time
if we are to obtain a pure heart.  They say confession
is good for the soul and from what we know from
the Psalm, confessing our faults will lead us
to be glad in the Lord and rejoice.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Speak of the peace you obtain after having
received Absolution for your sins when you
participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

2.  Our psalmist, David, is convicted of his sins
and acknowledges his faults before the Lord.
What is it in your life that inspires you to confess
your sins before the Lord?


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, June 9, 2013

 Psalm 30: 2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13
“I praise you Lord, for you raised me up; you let me live, kept me from going down to the pit.”

God did not make death, nor does He rejoice at the destruction of the living. His “Divine favor lasts a lifetime.”

In the words of our psalmist, we too, by the grace of God, are able to be saved from going down into the pit.

We too are eligible for a spiritual
resurrection if our faith is strong.

We may be rebuked by God for disobeying
Him.  We are, after all, His wayward children,
and He loves us as a Father loves his own.
God's compassion and mercy are with us
not only in this life, but in eternity.
“Divine anger lasts but a moment;
divine favor lasts a lifetime.”

Our Lord Jesus himself was raised up
from the pit by the Father, even though
He bore the weight of our sins.
God’s anger lasted but a moment.

The joy of resurrection comes to us at dawn,
after a terrible night, as it came to those
early followers of Jesus.  “At nightfall,
weeping enters in, but with the dawn
there is rejoicing.”

And that alone is reason enough
to change our “mourning into dancing,”
to clothe us with gladness.  We are
prompted to sing endless praise to the Lord.
“O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist tells us that God's anger lasts but
a moment, while His favor lasts a lifetime.  Tell of how
you have been rebuked by the Lord, and following
repentance, how you have received His grace.

2.  The Psalm is about being rescued by the Lord
and how God lifts us out of the pit.  Speak of how
you have been saved by the Lord and brought up
from a sinful existence.