Monday, December 9, 2013

Psalm for Sunday, December 15, 2013


Psalm 146:  6-7, 8-9, 9-10 (Read)

“The Lord God keeps faith forever.”

The Psalm tells us that our long journey
of waiting and petitioning the Lord has
come to an end.  For us, then, the Psalm
is about the time of Advent, when the
promises of Isaiah (1st reading) and the
other prophets are fulfilled.  The coming
of Jesus means for us that we who are
afflicted will be set free; we who are hungry
will receive real food.

Why do we trust in God and not princes of
this world?  Because, “The Lord God keeps
faith forever; He gives food to the hungry.”
Who among us is not hungry for a closer
relationship with The Lord?

And, “The Lord gives sight to the blind.”
Our eyes are opened when we enter the kingdom.
St James tells us in our 2nd reading that our
patience will be rewarded, and the psalm confirms
this, “The Lord raises up those who are bowed
down.” We are raised up with the Lord Jesus.

Our psalmist sings about God's promises to the
oppressed, the hungry, the prisoner, the blind,
and those who are bowed down in one way or
another.  We could all benefit by being set free
in the Spirit or healed, so that we are no longer
blinded.   Then we too would no longer be lame,
but would be able to leap like a stag as the
prophet Isaiah promises.

And how are the promises of the psalmist fulfilled? 
Where else but in the healing ministry of Jesus,
as the Gospel tells us.  Who else has the grace
and the mercy to heal us?

Advent is our time to be joyful.  The coming of
the Messiah opens up a new time for us, a time
of promise.  We can celebrate with our psalmist,
“The Lord shall reign forever; your God, Zion,
through all generations!  Hallelujah!”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm's verses speak of a hopeful time when our God
will come and save us.  Tell of what it means to you to trust in
the Lord, to be set free, and to be raised up.

2.  Our psalmist promises that the Lord will give food to the
hungry.  Speak of your hunger for a closer relationship with the
Lord, and how you expect to receive real food this Advent.


  1. Jaiun7:51 PM

    A priest-friend recently explained to me that Advent is a season of penitence; specifically, he used three words, "Prayer, Penance and the Poor." Truthfully, it was a bit of a downer to hear this, because my flesh screams that once a year is enough for self-denial (Lent). Christmas is supposed to be joyful, isn't it? Well, my priest- friend went on to explain that Christmas IS about celebration, but Advent is preparation. The preparation for anything in life is the hard part. Cooking, Exams, Recitals, Performances, etc. But as we prepare, we learn discipline and that's when we see real change.

    I am reminded of a verse on change from 2 Corinthians 5:17. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!" We are created anew as Jesus comes into our hearts. If we don't have the strength for this radical change, we need but rely on Him and He'll make it happen. He is the real food that sustains our growth.

  2. How do I expect to receive real food this Advent? We often generalize the meaning of Advent. During the season of Advent our church teaches us to prepare for the coming of Jesus by lifting up prayers for the afflicted, giving alms to the poor, and confessing our sins.

    I think most of us are confused a little bit by the meaning of Advent. To my understanding, it means to prepare for the coming of Jesus with a clean and compassionate heart so that we can receive Him in our heart. We try to follow in His footsteps even though it'll be a big challenge for us to follow Him. If we remain in Him He will sustain us.

    We're anticipating the hopes and joys of Christmas knowing that the new born baby, Jesus, comes to set us free from the bondage of all evils. On His Arrival, we're announcing and proclaiming the good news. We, all human beings, will be saved and have eternal life forever. That's why I am celebrating His birth with joy on Christmas day. The joy comes from experiencing the redeeming power of Jesus. Mostly He made my eyes open to see, and mostly I benefited by being healed through his Grace.

    Jesus is our real food. He feeds me with His body and blood in the Eucharist. And also He feeds me spiritually with His words. In Psalm 146, the psalmist sings praise to God for what He has done for us. He gives the Lord glory and praise for His mercy and grace toward us. I also will give our Lord praise and honor on Christmas day because He gave us Jesus.

    Trusting in God has always been a challenge for me. But I wish to do charitable works for the rest of my life, to increase my faith, and deepen my relationship with Him.