Monday, December 29, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, January 4, 2015


Psalm 72:  1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13  (Read) 

"All kings shall pay Him homage."  


The Psalm is a prayer for our newborn King.      
Our psalmist speaks of a Messiah who will be 
like the “rain coming down upon the fields,
like showers watering the earth.”  Our psalmist 

prays that our newborn King will be anointed 
by God with divine judgment and empowered
to rule the earth.

The prophet Isaiah in our 1st reading predicts 

that the light of the Lord will cause our hearts 
to overflow and the riches of the sea to be 
emptied out before us.  (Isaiah 60:5)
Our psalmist also speaks of “abundance”
that will flourish in his days.”

But the Messiah is among us to do more than 

bless us materially; the savior has come to make 
our burdens light, to share our afflictions.
“For he rescues the poor when they cry out,
shows pity to the needy and the poor,
saves the lives of the poor.”

We see the light, just as the prophet Isaiah said

we would. (Isaiah 60:1)  In the Psalm, the mystery 
is revealed to us, poor in spirit though we are:
“He rescues the poor when they cry out [as we do],
the oppressed who have no one to help.”

This is what our Good Shepherd Jesus is sent to do,
to shepherd God’s people. This is why we join the Magi 

in paying homage to our newborn King and join 
with our psalmist in singing, "Blessed be the Lord; 
Blessed be His glorious name."


Discussion Questions for Reflection

Our psalmist mentions 'afflicted ones' and 'the afflicted'
in two of the Psalm's verses.  Are there times when you can
identify yourself as an 'afflicted' one?   Tell what remedies
are available to you that are mentioned in the Psalm.

The Psalm says, 'Lord, every nation on earth will
adore you.'   Using the verses of the Psalm, explain why
'all kings' would want to pay homage to our Lord.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, December 28, 2014


Psalm 128:  1-2, 3, 4-5  (Read)

“Blessed are those who fear
the Lord and walk in His ways.”

Our psalmist tells us that a man who
has a right relationship with the Lord
will also obtain a right relationship with
his wife and his family.  If we have a right
relationship with the Lord, we will know
how to treat our wives and our children,
and in turn, we will discover how blessed
we are in our home and by the presence of
our family.  “Just so will the man be blessed
who fears the Lord.”

And if a man walks with the Lord, this will
be reflected in the way he loves his wife.
Because if a man cherishes his wife,
as ‘flesh of his flesh’ and ‘bone of his bones,’
he nourishes his relationship with her,
as Christ nourishes the Church.
And the man’s reward is that his wife will be
like a ‘fruitful vine’ within his house.  This is
how a man is blessed who fears the Lord.

Having been so favored by God,  we understand
why, 'A man shall leave his father and mother
and cleave to his wife.'   God made them one flesh,
and, 'What God has joined, no human being
may separate.'

If we fear the Lord and walk in His ways, we will
receive the blessings of our labor, prosper in a
material way, and grow old gracefully in the
company of our family.



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm tells us how to gain God's favor
so that our family life will be blessed.  What does
it mean to you to fear the Lord and walk in His ways?

2.  We learn from our psalmist how to behave toward
our wife and our children.  A right relationship with our
family is obtained by having a right relationship with our Lord.
Explain how you are putting this teaching into practice.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, December 21, 2014


Psalm 89:  2-3, 4-5, 27-29  (Read)

" I have made a covenant with my chosen one.”

This Sunday's Psalm sings about God’s  
promises to Israel and God's covenant with David.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one.”
That same divine selection is celebrated in our 

1st reading that tells the story of how David was 
taken from pasturing sheep to become Israel’s 
commander. (2 Samuel 7:8)

Our psalmist quotes the Lord, “I have sworn to 

David my servant: Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”

And how does this young shepherd boy rise to 

greatness in Israel? He succeeds because he has 
found favor with God, and God will be the source of his 
strength.  This is the same divine strength that St Paul
tells us is available to each of us, if we believe and 

have faith. (Romans 16:25)

But it isn’t a one way street with the Lord. David is 

to show us that we must give glory to God.  He cries out,
“You are my Father, my God, the Rock, my Savior.”

Mary also finds favor with God and is anointed to be 

the Blessed Mother of our Lord Jesus.  She too responds
by giving glory to God in this week’s Gospel.  (Luke 1:38)

The Lord’s covenant with David stands firm, and it is 

through God’s promise to David that the Messiah is 
born of Mary. “Forever, I will maintain my love for David;
my covenant with him stands firm.” That promise 

to David is fulfilled in the birth of our Savior and for that 
we too must give glory to God.



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  David is to call out to the Lord, 'You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.' 

We too are inspired to cry out to God in a similar way. Tell of the times when you 
have felt like crying out to God in worship and praise.

2.  Our Psalm response is, 'Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.'  One reason 

to sing of the Lord's goodness is because His promises are trustworthy.  Describe how 
you have relied on the promises of the Lord in your journey.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, December 14, 2014


Luke 1:  46-48, 49-50, 53-54  (Read)

“My soul rejoices in my God.”

The Blessed Mother Mary speaks this hymn
of praise to God in the words of a humble servant,
“For He has looked upon his lowly handmaid.”

Despite her position as God’s chosen instrument,
Mary does not exalt herself; she exalts God
the Father as she professes her Magnificat.
Her soul “proclaims the greatness of the Lord.”
She glorifies the Lord, “The Almighty has done
great things for me.”  Mary is truly God’s anointed
one, and the spirit of the Lord is upon her.
She “rejoices heartily in the Lord.”

We too are God’s lowly creatures, and Mary inspires
us to expect the Lord will do great things for us as well.
We too should expect to be singled out by the Lord
to do His work.  This is our food (to do the Lord’s work)
just as it was for Jesus the Son.

Mary testifies to the light, as does John the Baptist in
our Gospel reading.  (John 1: 8)
Because of Mary’s faith, the Old Testament
promises are fulfilled, and the tide is turned.
As the Blessed Mother says, the hungry (that is who we are)
are filled with good things. 


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.    Mary declares that God has filled the 'hungry' with good things.  

Do you consider yourself one of the hungry ones? And if so, in what way 
has the Lord fed you with good things?

2.   Our Blessed Mother says, "The Almighty has done great things for me."  

In what way do you also believe that God has done great things for you, 
and how have you responded?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, December 7, 2014


Psalm 85:  9-10, 11-12, 13-14  (Read)

"Near indeed is His salvation."


The Psalm is a prayer that God
will grant mercy and forgiveness
to the Israelites, and by extension
we are told that our own salvation
is near.  “The Lord proclaims peace
to His people, glory dwelling in our land.”

The Prophet Isaiah tells us in today's
1st reading, our God declares, “Give
comfort to my people.”  And Zion is told,
“Cry out at the top of your voice;
here is your God!"  (Isaiah 40:1,6,9)

The Psalm is a promise of salvation.
“Near indeed is salvation for those
who fear Him.”  St Peter too affirms
that the Lord does not delay in keeping His
promise in today's 2nd reading.  (2 Peter 3:9)

And what should we expect?
Nothing less than the coming of the Messiah
himself.  Our psalmist affirms, “Truth will spring
from the earth,” and for us this takes place
when the Messiah is born.

The psalmist prepares the way of the Lord,
as does John the Baptist in this week's Gospel.
As the Psalm says, “Justice shall walk before
Him and prepare the way of His steps.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm says, "Truth shall spring out of the earth."  For us this verse 

foretells the coming of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ.  What else about 
the Psalm prepares us for the birth of our Savior?

2.  Our psalmist says, "I will hear what God proclaims."  This verse can be seen 

as a reminder to study the Word of the Lord.  Explain how your study of the Word 
is strengthening your faith.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, November 30, 2014

Psalm 80: 2-3, 15-16, 18-19  (Read)

“Give us new life, and we will call upon your name.”

The Psalm is a prayer to restore Israel,
at a time when the chosen people were
scattered and had withdrawn from God.

The Psalm is well adapted to our prayers during Advent.  We are a people scattered and separated from God, and we await His coming.  Our psalmist makes a direct appeal to God to shepherd us,
“Shepherd of Israel listen; come to save us.”

“Turn again Lord, attend to this vine.”  The Lord 

tends to His vineyard.  He protects a shoot planted 
by His right hand, the son of man whom God 
himself made strong.  The coming of Christ is
intended  to revive us, restore our strength.  As the 
Psalm says, “Give us new life, and we will call 
upon your name.”

We all need to be renewed from time to time when 

our faith grows lukewarm, when our hearts harden 
due to the sins that separate us from God.
We, like the Israelites, need to beg for God’s mercy, 

to petition the Lord and seek his peace, the peace
that will guard our hearts and minds, and restore us 

as His people.  We are after all, the work of His 
hands. (Isaiah 64:7)

Where does our hope for revival come from?  

It comes from our Savior, sent by the Lord, our 
cornerstone. In Him we are restored.  “Lord of
hosts restore us; let your face shine upon us, 

that we may be saved.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm says, 'Lord, make us turn to you.'
Have you noticed at times when we stray off His path
how the Lord tugs at each of us so that we return to His ways.
Give an example from your own experience.

2.  Our psalmist is writing about the scattered people of Israel,
but his words may apply to each of us in our separation from God.
In what way do the Psalm's verses encourage you as we begin
the season of Advent?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, November 23, 2014


Psalm 23:  1-2, 2-3, 5-6  (Read)
“He guides me in right paths.” 

This well known psalm is a prayer
that we offer to our Lord, the Good Shepherd.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” 
We desire to be one of His sheep because He
looks after us and protects us and seeks us
out when we stray.  On the other hand we
do not want to be one of the goats that He
scatters.  Nor do we want to be on the wrong
side of His judgment when He separates the
sheep from the goats.

In our 1st reading the prophet Ezekiel tells us --
“The Lord God looks after his scattered sheep.”
(Ezekiel 34:12)  He brings us back to the sheep-hold
where He will bind up our wounds.  Jesus speaks 
of himself as the Good Shepherd, and we are 
drawn to Him, because He offers to lead us beside 
still waters, to grant us peace, and to restore us 

Our Lord is the King of kings, and when He
sits on His glorious throne, He will separate
the sheep from the goats.  And the King will say
to His sheep, “Come, inherit the kingdom prepared
for you.”   Our Lord stands by us in the victory over death.
Our psalmist David says it this way, “You prepare 
a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

He anoints us; He fills our cup so that it overflows.
We are ready to go forth on our own journey
to discover who we are and how we are to treat 
others, especially the least among us. (Gospel, 
Matthew 25:45)  In our journey we learn that,
if we really want to have eternal life with our Lord, 
then we must become shepherds in our own right, 
here on earth.

Having been rescued by our Savior, and now 
counted among His obedient sheep, and ready 
to do His will, we are groomed to enter the kingdom
and to sit at the table that God sets for us.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all
the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house 
of the Lord forever.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm makes it clear we want to stay on the right side of our 

Good Shepherd; we want to be guided in right paths for His name's sake.  
Explain what you are doing so that you will be placed on His right, and not 
on His left with the goats.

2.  As His good sheep, we are being groomed to do His will.  Our psalmist 

says that our Lord anoints us with oil.  Having been anointed by the Lord, 
how are you carrying out His will within your family and your community?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, November 16, 2014


Psalm 128:  1-2, 3, 4-5  (Read)

“Blessed are those who fear the Lord

and walk in His ways!”

The Psalm affirms that the blessings
for those who fear the Lord are
to be found in the recesses of our
homes, in the ordinary joys of family.

The worthy wife is valued in the Psalm
as a fruitful vine because she blesses
her home and family with the gift
of her handiwork.  As shown in the Gospel
she uses wisely what is given her as
her way of obeying the Lord and
holding Him in awe.

“Just so will they be blessed
who fear the Lord.”

If we fear the Lord and walk in His
ways, we will receive the blessings
of our labor, prosper, and grow old
gracefully in the company of our
wife and children.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm assures us that we will be favored by the Lord, 

if we walk in His ways.  Speak of how you have been blessed 
by obeying the Lord and holding Him in awe.

2.  Our psalmist tells of a worthy wife who uses wisely what 

she has been given.  Give an example of how you have used 
your God-given talent to serve your family or your community.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, November 9, 2014


Psalm 46:  2-3, 5-6, 8-9  (Read)

“There is a stream whose runlets gladden the 
city of God, the holy dwelling of the most High.”

The Psalm speaks of a life giving stream that 

keeps the city of God undisturbed and viable.  
And the prophet Ezekiel affirms there are life giving 
waters flowing out from the sanctuary of the temple, 
which is the Church.  (Ezekiel 47:9)  This holy water
brings life and fruit to areas where nothing could
have grown before. 

It is the same for us.  The Church is the source of our
baptismal waters where we receive God's grace and
are called to spread hope and encouragement and the
Good News wherever we go.   For us, Christ is the 

source of that living water that flows from the temple 
of His body.

The Psalm speaks of the holy waters that flow round
the Church and round us personally.  These waters
gladden us.  These waters are a source of blessing for us.
They spring forth and nourish our inner being, purify us,
and are a source of healing.  We are after all the holy
dwelling of the Most High, the holy temple of God,
as St Paul tells us.   Our body is a temple of the Holy
Spirit that resides inside us.  (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Our psalmist says God is in the midst of His holy dwelling.
We understand this verse to mean—so long as God is
in our midst we shall not be disturbed.  “The Lord of
hosts is with us.”  He is our stronghold.  The divine
presence in the temple of our body assures us of our
security, despite a world around us that is falling apart.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm assures us there are holy waters all around us.
Speak of how you are gladdened by these holy waters and how
these waters give you the grace you need to proclaim the Gospel.

2.  Our psalmist affirms that the Lord of hosts is with us.  Tell of
how you are made whole and given power by the presence of the 

Holy Spirit living within you.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, November 2, 2014

Psalm 23:  1-3, 3-4, 5, 6  (Read)

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,   

 I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”

The Psalm's words are a source of peace                                           
for us, a source of strength, a source of healing.
The Lord provides for us,
“There is nothing I shall want.”

The Lord restores us, for we tend to go astray
like sheep.  We belong under the care of

the Good Shepherd, who is guardian of our souls.
Jesus assures us that we who enter the sheepfold 

through Him will be saved and will find pasture.

Jesus promises to raise us up and to destroy death,

our biggest enemy.  Our psalmist promises that 
we are to be anointed by the Lord, “You anoint my 
head with oil, my cup overflows.”  We are made 
ready to go forth on our journey of eternal life 
with the Lord.

Like a Good Shepherd, Jesus says He should 

not lose anything of what the Father has given Him,
but that He should raise it on the last day.  (John 6: 39)

We lack nothing when we trust in the Lord.
We fear nothing.  Having been rescued by our Savior, 

and now counted among His obedient sheep, 
we are groomed to enter the Kingdom
and dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm promises a heavenly banquet at a time when we
are faced with our greatest enemy, death.  "You spread the table
before me in the sight of my foes."   Speak of how you are 

comforted by the Psalm's verses.

2.  Our psalmist assures us that our Lord is the guardian of our

souls and that we shall have eternal life with Him.  Explain how 
confident you are that you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, October 26, 2014


Psalm 18:  2-3, 3-4, 47, 51  (Read)

“The Lord Lives!”

The Psalm is saying that the Lord
is present to us, here and now, just as
He was when He delivered David
from his persecutors.

The really key revelation for us is
that the Lord lives.  He lives among us;
He is present in the Word.  Jesus is
in fact the Living Word; He is present
on the inside of us through the holy
Spirit.  He is alive in the Eucharist.
He humbled himself to share in our
humanity, so that we might have a
share in His divinity!

So Jesus is alive and well, standing
by us as our “rock of refuge, our
shield, our saving horn.”  We join
with David in praising God and loving
Him with all our heart and all our mind,
as Jesus reminds us to do in the Gospel.
(Matthew 22: 37)

How do we apply the Psalm's verses to
our lives?  We turn to our Lord to equip
us for the battles that we fight against the
evil one.  Jesus becomes our fortress!

In this Psalm we hear David, crying out
to the Lord, as one cries out to his savior.
“My God, my rock of refuge, my shield,
my saving horn, my stronghold.”  David
has just emerged after being saved
by God from his enemies.  David has been
rescued by that same God of compassion
and mercy that is present to us.

David praises his savior in language that
is familiar to us as his spiritual descendents,
“The Lord lives!  Blessed be my rock!
Exalted be God my savior!”

For David has been delivered from the
forces of evil that surrounded him.
And that same deliverance is available to
us, so long as we surrender ourselves
to God and love God with all of our heart
and soul and strength.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm affirms for us that our Lord lives!  Tell of how
the Lord is present to you in your daily life.  How does He reveal
Himself to you?

2.  Our psalmist extols God our savior, and speaks of the Lord
as the horn of salvation.  When and how do you turn to the Lord
as your rock of refuge?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, October 19, 2014


Psalm 96:  1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10 (Read)

“Awesome is He; give to the Lord
the glory due His name!”

The Psalm is a message to Israel’s 

neighbors, and to the rest of the world, that there is one true God.  “Tell God’s glory among the nations; among all peoples, God’s marvelous deeds.”

The Israelites have returned from exile and have been brought back 

from near death as a people.   The 
remnant has survived, and the 
Israelites have been delivered by 
the one and only God. 

And so they sing a “new song,” celebrating the

“newness of God” that comes with the joy of 
praising Him as sovereign.  “Sing to the Lord a 
new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands.”
As the Psalm says, we are all summoned to 

adoration of our sovereign.  We are called
to give Him glory and praise.

In the 1st reading the prophet Isaiah confirms
there is no other God besides Him. (Isaiah 45: 5)
The gods of other nations are mere idols, and they 

all do nothing, says our psalmist.  But our God made 
the heavens; He is to be praised and feared.

And how do we praise Him?
How do we give the Lord the glory due His name?
We engage in works of faith; we undertake a labor 

of love for Him, as St. Paul tells us in today's 
2nd reading. (1 Thessalonians 1: 3)

All peoples are invited to recognize our God,
and pledge to obey Him.  “Say among the nations, 

“The Lord is King; the world will surely stand fast, 
never to be shaken.”  

And having acknowledged that God is sovereign,
how should we and all the nations behave? 
The Gospel tells us how --  Jesus says,
“Repay to God what belongs to God.” (Matthew 22: 21)
And we understand our calling,
“Give to the Lord the glory due His name!”



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm exhorts us to "Sing to the Lord a new song."  

How does your song go when you sing praise to God?  What 
do you have to say to the Lord?

2.  Our psalmist encourages us to "Give the Lord glory and honor."  

We are called to give glory to God in the works of faith that we do.  
Speak of how you give God the glory in what you do.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, October 12, 2014


Psalm 23:   1-3, 3-4, 5, 6 (Read)

“I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life.”

It is said that this wonderful prayer was written

at the end of King David’s life.  We are with 
David as he passes from death to life
on God’s holy mountain.

Isaiah says the Lord will provide a feast of 

rich food and choice wines on His holy mountain. (Isaiah 25: 6)  Our psalmist tells us, 
“The Lord prepares a table before me; He anoints 
my head with oil, my cup runneth over.”

Isaiah says that God wipes away our tears. (Isaiah 25: 8)
King David tells us, “Even though I walk through 

the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for you are 
with me.”  What greater companion would we want as 
we face death?  St. Paul agrees  --  his strength comes 
from the Lord, through Jesus, who empowers him. (Philippians 4: 13)
This is the same Lord who shepherds us in the Psalm.

“He restores my soul.”
David sets the tone for what is to come --  Jesus 

becomes the good Shepherd, leads us beside 
still waters, guides us along the right paths.
With the Good Shepherd as our guide,
if we walk with him, we are sure to be among 

the chosen ones, and we are sure to be clothed 
in the right clothing when we arrive on 
God’s holy mountain.



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  King David, our psalmist, is confident that he will
dwell in God's house for all the days of his life.  What draws
you to God's heavenly mansions and what gives you confidence
that you will live there?

2.  The Psalm's verses reassure us that we are God's sheep and
our Lord is our good shepherd.  Are you one of His sheep, and
in what way are you gaining repose in His pastures?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, October 5, 2014


Psalm 80:  9, 12, 13-14, 15-16, 19-20 (Read)  

"O Lord, take care of this vine." 

The Psalm is a prayer to restore the Israelites to God’s vineyard.   
The chosen people have lost God’s protection; God has removed 
the hedge that He put up around them.

“God brought a vine out of Egypt and planted it.”  But what kind 

of fruit did God’s vineyard bear?  The prophet Isaiah says in 
our 1st reading that despite all of God’s efforts, nothing but wild
grapes was produced. (Isaiah 5:2)    And so God broke down the
vineyard’s walls, letting, “The boar strip the vine, and the beast 
feed upon it.”

There is a message here for all of us who do not bear fruit or 

use our resources wisely.  We could lose God’s protection, 
and we may not be able to defend ourselves from the evil one 
that prowls around like a roaring lion.

We, like the psalmist, need to beg for God’s mercy.
“Turn again, O Lord of hosts, attend to this vine.”
If we’re not careful, the kingdom will be taken away 

from us, as it was in the Gospel, and given to a people
that will produce its fruit.  (Matthew 21: 43)  

We, like the Israelites, need to be restored.  The Psalm's
verses pray, “Give us new life,  and we will call on your name.”

Where does our hope for revival come from?
It comes from our Savior, sent by the Lord, our cornerstone,

“The son of man whom God himself made strong.”
In Him we are restored. As the Psalm says, “Lord of hosts 

restore us; let your face shine upon us, 
that we may be saved.”



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm says, “Lord, take care of this vine; then we will no more withdraw 

from you.  Give us new life, and we will call upon your name.”  Have you noticed 
at times when we stray off His path how the Lord tugs at each of us so that 
we return to His ways.   Give an example from your own experience.

2.  Our psalmist is writing about the scattered people of Israel, but his words may 

apply to each of us in our separation from God.   In what way are you inspired by the 
Psalm's verses to repent and seek renewal?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, September 28, 2014


Psalm 25:  4-5, 8-9, 10, 14 (Read)

“Good and upright is the Lord, who shows sinners the way.” 


We are blessed to have a God who does not 
disregard us.  On the contrary, He is a caring, 
compassionate God, willing to humble Himself
to share in our humanity, so that we might share 

in His divinity. Who else would have such regard 
for sinners, for believers who disobey Him?

The Lord is talking to all of us here; we are all 

sinners.  Jesus was criticized for consorting 
with sinners, but He replied that the sick (people 
like us) are the ones who need a physician.
We are all able to benefit from the healing power 

of Jesus.

Our psalmist says,  “Make known to me your 

ways, Lord; teach me your paths.”  The prophet 
Ezekiel, in our 1st reading, tells us that if we follow 
the Lord's way, we will be able to turn away from 
sin and avoid death (Ezekiel 18:31).  The psalmist 
prays to God, “Remember no more the sins of my 
youth; remember me only in light of your love.”
And in the Gospel,  Jesus tells us how a young man 

became right with God after having disobeyed 
Him (Matthew 21:31).

And where does the power come from to turn away

from sin?  It comes from the Lord, “He shows sinners 
the way.” It is He who encourages us when our tongues
confess, “The Lord guides the humble rightly,
and teaches the humble the way.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  As the Psalm says, our Lord shows us sinners the way; we pray that 

He will teach us His paths.   What leads you to follow the Lord's truth?

2.  Our psalmist petitions God to remember not the psalmist's frailties or 

the sins of his youth.   How is the Lord's compassion shown in your life?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, September 21, 2014


Psalm 145:  2-3, 8-9, 17-18 (Read)

“Great is the Lord and highly to be praised.”

When we reflect on what God has done 

for us, we remember that God has always 
done good things for us.   That is God's 
nature.  As the Psalm says, “His greatness 
is unsearchable.”  And so we pray this psalm 
to bless, praise, and exalt the heavenly 
Father in His perfection and in His works.

Our psalmist dwells on the everlasting nature 

of God, on His love and presence throughout 
all time, and we are called to praise the Lord 
forever and ever.  Our psalmist reminds us, 
“The Lord is good to all and compassionate 
toward all His works.”  We know this inherently 
because we live our lives within an unending 
stream of divine love.

“The Lord is near to all who call upon him.” 

His presence is shown in the help, nourishment, 
and salvation that He shows to us.  The prophet 
Isaiah urges us, “Seek the Lord while He may be 
found, call Him while He is near.”
(Isaiah 55: 6)

We praise God because of His divine attributes
of compassion and love.  And fortunately for us, 

the Son shares fully in these divine attributes.
So we also sing this psalm in honor of Christ our 
Savior, who shares fully in the perfection of God,
and in the works of the Father,



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist assures us, 'The Lord is near to all who call upon Him.'   

This verse requires us to make the extra effort to reach out to God if we 
want to be in His presence.  Tell of how you have reached out to the Lord 
and what has been the result.

2.  The Psalm calls upon us to praise His name forever and ever.
Say how you go about praising the Lord in your daily life.  Give examples.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, September 14, 2014

Reflections (by J Kim)        

"Do not forget the works of the Lord!"

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
draws on Psalm 78, a passage that recounts 
the rebellious nature of the people of Israel.   
The Psalmist describes their forgetfulness, 
disobedience, ungratefulness, and insincere 
praise of God.  As we read such descriptions, 
we must soberly recognize our own shortcomings 
and look up to the Holy Cross to deliver us from sin. 

Beginning with Verse 34, "While he slew them 
they sought him and inquired after God again," 
we are linked to the first reading.  Numbers 21 
describes God's use of venomous snakes to punish 
the people for their unbelief and complaining.  In their 
suffering, the people turn to Moses and the Lord for help; 
Moses is instructed to make a bronze snake and put it up 
on a pole for all to see.  The people looked up, believed,
and were healed.  In the Gospel of John, the image
is brought to its full meaning:  as the Israelites were 
healed by obeying God's command to look up at the 
elevated bronze serpent, believers today can be saved
by looking up to Jesus and his death on the cross.

Unfortunately, the next verses of the Psalm detail 
the fickle nature of the Israelites.   Over and over, 
they would claim to follow God for a while and then 
turn away from him.  "But they flattered him with their 
mouths and lied to him with their tongues, though their 
hearts were not steadfast toward him, nor were they 
faithful to his covenant."  (v. 36-37).  They followed God 
with their words and not with their hearts.  

An omniscient and all-powerful God would have every 
right to be angered.  Does our Lord choose to punish
His children?  The most tender, comforting, and 
awe-inspiring answer is found in v. 38:  "But he, being
merciful, forgave their sin and destroyed them not; '
Often he turned back his anger and let none of his wrath 
be roused."  God shows mercy on the Israelites; as many 
times as they rebel, He offers love and guidance, 
sometimes, firmly.  He is the same with us today, 
exhibiting perfect patience.  We must not "forget the 
works of the Lord," but remember to seek Him and 
exalt the cross at all times, not just in seasons of dire need. 


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Just like the Israelites, when have you been guilty of forgetfulness,
thanklessness, or rebellion?  What has been God's response?

2.  How do you "Exalt the Cross" in your daily life?  Or... perhaps, 
do you need to raise Him up higher for yourself and others to see?