Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, September 1, 2013


Psalm 68:  4-5, 6-7, 10-11
“God, in your goodness, you
have made a home for the poor.”

Our psalmist sings a tribute to our
sovereign God, who makes a home
for the poor in spirit.   Though we may
be forsaken, or neglected, or alone with
no one to care for us, our God prepares
a home for us.   It is as Jesus tells us,
“In my Father’s house there are many
dwelling places.  If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going
to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2)

Being poor in spirit implies that one is humble,
and does not exalt himself.    In our Gospel this
Sunday, our Savior reminds the Pharisee within us
that the one who humbles himself will be exalted.

And in our 1st reading from Sirach, we are told to
conduct our affairs with humility, “Humble yourself
the more, the greater you are, and you will find
favor with God.”

Our psalmist assures us sinners too that God
will lead us out of whatever sinful habit is holding
us captive.  “He leads forth the prisoners to prosperity.”
Like the 'bountiful rain' showered down upon us,
God restores us and provides for our needs.

For all that God does for us, as the Psalm says,
we are to “Sing to God, chant praise to His name!”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist speaks of a 'bountiful rain'
from the Lord, showering down upon us. 
Tell of how you have been restored by God's
living water when you were parched and thirsty
for His presence.

2.  The Psalm says that God 'leads forth prisoners
to prosperity.'   Have you been set free from sinful
habits or worldly attachments by the Lord's healing
hand?   Explain.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, August 25, 2013


Psalm 117:  1, 2


“Praise the Lord all you nations;
glorify Him all you peoples!”


This Sunday we sing this briefest of Psalms
that inspires us to rise up and praise
the God of Israel, and having done so,
to go out to all the world and tell the Good News.


Just as Isaiah proclaims in our 1st reading,
we are comforted that God reaches out to us
no matter what our language, no matter
we live in the distant coastlands, no matter
we have never heard of God or seen His glory.
Isaiah says it this way, “They shall proclaim
my glory among the nations.”


St. Paul cites this psalm in Romans 15 when
he exhorts the faithful to minister to the Gentiles.
We too are called to reach out to those who are
distant from us spiritually, even though they may not
be distant physically, some of whom may even be
within our midst.


And what inspires us to proclaim the good news?
It is as our psalmist says, “God's love for us is strong;
His faithfulness is forever.”



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalmist is inspired by the power
of God's love toward us.  Speak of how
God's love and mercy have done a work
in your life.

2.  The Psalm prompts us to witness to
those who may be distant from us spiritually.
Give an example of how you proclaim the
Good News to those who may not know God.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, August 18, 2013


Psalm 40:  2, 3. 4, 18

“Many shall look on in awe
and trust in the Lord.” 

Our psalmist waits for the Lord –
to reach out to Him.  He begs
the Lord, “Lord, come to my aid!”

Just as Jeremiah was lifted out
of the cistern (1st reading), so too
was David drawn out of the pit
of destruction.  We are like that.
We are weak on our own;
we need the Lord’s strength to be
delivered from our sinful ways.

We put our trust in God.
Our God is an awesome God.
“Many shall look on in awe
and trust in the Lord.”

Our psalmist says, “He put a new
song into my mouth.”  For us, too,
it is no longer the same old tune.
We are in fact a new creation, joyfully
singing out the good news.

Where does our joyful spirit come from?
It comes from the Lord, and we are called
to share what he has given us and to do
his will, which is our delight.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.   Our Psalm recalls for us that
we place our trust in the Lord.  Speak
of how you have been lifted up and
delivered by God.

2.  Our psalmist says that the Lord
has put a new song into his mouth.
This reminds us that we are a new creation
in the Lord.  Tell of how you have been
reborn in the Spirit.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, August 11, 2013


Psalm 33:  1, 12, 18-19, 20-22

“The eyes of the Lord are upon those
who fear Him, to deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.”

The Lord's eyes are upon us because
we hold Him in awe,  we praise Him. 
Like a Good Shepherd He protects us
from harm; He puts up a hedge around us
and provides us with armor in our battle
against death and the evil one.  He feeds us
when we go through periods of spiritual
hunger.  He nourishes us and gives us our
daily spiritual bread.

Where else would we turn for deliverance
from death, the kind of death which is a
consequence of sin?  Remember, 'the wages
of sin is death,' and we are all afflicted.
Fortunately for us, Christ destroyed death
and brought life to us.

We would be dead in our sins without
the Lord's protection, defeated by the evil one
without the Lord's armor.  And when our heart
is starved for God's presence, when our bones
are dry, He nourishes us and breathes life into
our dry bones.

It is through His divine plan that we are saved.
Our own feeble efforts count for nothing.
We must be submissive and abandon ourselves
to His will and His grace.  Because Christ humbles
Himself for our sake,  there is hope for us,
even in our time of spiritual famine.  That is the
meaning of the verse, “Lord, let your mercy
be on us, as we place our trust in you.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalm Response this Sunday is, "Blessed the people
the Lord has chosen to be His own."  Speak of how you apply
this verse to your daily life.

2.  Verse 12 of the Psalm says, "Blessed is the nation whose God
is the Lord."  Tell of how important it is that our nation receive
God's blessing and His protection.