Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, February 2, 2014

Psalm 24:  7, 8, 9, 10 (Read)

“Lift up, O gates, reach up,
that the king of glory may come in!”

Scripture tells us that even the heavens
cannot contain Him, yet our Lord is
content to build a house within our
hearts.  Our own bodies become temples
of the Lord, and we must throw open
the gates of our hearts and let Him enter.
He is the king of glory!

The psalm celebrates Christ's ascension into
the holy city of Jerusalem, and reminds us
that He is 'mighty in battle,' able to defeat
whatever dark forces are present within us.
We herald His coming, our gates our lifted,
'that the king of glory may come in.'  He is
'strong and mighty' and will protect us from
all our enemies, external and internal.

The psalm reminds us we are to prepare
to receive our Lord.  We must be clean of
hand and pure of heart; we must 'reach up
our portals' to a higher level if we are truly
to become a temple of God.

The Psalm is guiding us to prepare ourselves
from within, so that we are made ready to
receive Him when He comes.  Our psalmist
tells us that those who love the Lord and those
who seek God's face will receive Him.  Just as
Jesus is consecrated to the Lord in this Sunday's
Gospel, just so must we be consecrated before
we can receive Jesus in our hearts.  When we are
ready, we can join with the psalmist and say
confidently, 'It is the Lord!'



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm twice urges us to lift up our gates
that the king of glory may come in.   What are you
doing to prepare a place for the Lord in your heart?

2.  Our Lord will build a house within our hearts if we
allow Him to do so.  Once your body becomes a temple
of the Lord, how will this change your behavior?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, January 26, 2014


Psalm 27: 1, 4, 13-14 (Read)

"The Lord is my life's refuge."

 The Psalm is about trusting the Lord
and our desire to spend the rest of our days
in His presence.  The Psalm says, "One thing
I ask of the Lord; this I seek: to dwell in the
house of the Lord all the days of my life."

Perhaps this desire to be with the Lord
is what inspired Simon Peter and his brother
Andrew that day by the Sea of Galilee, when
they left their father and their nets to follow
Jesus and be his disciples (Sunday's Gospel).
Surely, Peter and Andrew recognized Jesus
as their own personal light and their own
personal Savior.   As the Psalm says,
"The Lord is my light and my salvation."

As we grow older, we too take steps on our
journey to be with the Lord, to enter His house.
Recall that Jesus said, “My house has many
mansions.”  It is no accident that older people
want to go to daily Mass and be with the Lord
as much as possible.  They are called to that
promise of eternal joy when they may “gaze on
the loveliness of the Lord” all the days of their lives.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Two verses of the Psalm assure us that we
should not fear, or be afraid of anyone, so long
as the Lord is our refuge and our salvation.  How
do you apply these verses to your daily life?

2.  Our psalmist asks, "To dwell in the house of
the Lord all the days of my life that I may gaze on the
loveliness of the Lord."   Where is the house of the Lord,
and how do you believe you will get there?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, January 19, 2014


Psalm 40:  2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10 (Read)

“He put a new song into my mouth.”

Our psalmist David waits for the Lord,
to reach out to Him, to make God hear his cry.
We are like that.  We are weak on our own;
we need the Lord’s strength to be delivered
from our sinful ways.

As the prophet Isaiah says, God is our
strength (1st reading).  We put our trust
in Him.  Our God is an awesome God.
“Many shall look on [our God] in awe
and trust in the Lord.” We are called to be
God's holy people, as St Paul tells us (2nd reading).

Our psalmist says, “He put a new song into
my mouth.” In response we sing a new song
unto the Lord.  For us, having waited for
the Lord, it is no longer the same old tune
or the same old us.   We are in fact a new
creation, 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.

We are called to follow Christ.
Obedience isn’t an unpleasant chore for us;
instead, as the Psalm tells us,
“To do your will is my delight.”



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm Response this Sunday is, "Here am I, Lord;
I come to do your will."  Speak of how you discern God's will
in your life, and tell how you are carrying out what God wants 

you to do. 

2.  Our psalmist David says, "God put a new song into my mouth."  

Have you too had a conversion in your walk with the Lord?  Tell of 
your own experience.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, January 12, 2014


Psalm 29:  1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10 (Read)
“The God of glory thunders.”

The Psalm is about the splendor and the power of God.  
“Give to the Lord the glory due God’s  name.  Bow down
before the Lord’s holy splendor.”  The Psalm speaks
of the voice of the Lord thundering over the waters.  

“The voice of the Lord is power, the voice of the Lord
is splendor.”

That same awesome voice was heard over the Jordan

River that day when the heavens were torn open and 
the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus just after he was
baptized.  What could be more powerful than the voice 
of God declaring, “This is my beloved Son, with whom
I am well pleased.”  (Gospel, Matthew 3: 13-17)

What happened at the Jordan River that day was to fulfill

what the Lord said to Isaiah (Sunday's lst reading, Isaiah 42),
“Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with 

whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit.”

The Lord's baptism may have happened over 2000 years 

ago, but for us that was a life changing moment.
God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power 

that day, the power to serve the faithful (people like us), 
and to do battle on our behalf with the devil. (See also
Sunday's 2nd reading, Acts 10: 34-38)

From that time forward we too became eligible to serve 

the Lord as His chosen ones.   Isaiah tells us what our 
spiritual mission is to be; like Jesus, we are to be a light
to the nations, and open the eyes of the blind (those who
do not know the Lord).  And imitating Jesus, we are
to bring out prisoners from confinement (those who may 

be imprisoned by sin).  What better way would there be
for us to serve the Lord?


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm asks us, as sons of God, to give to the Lord
glory and praise.   Tell of what you are doing to serve the Lord
and adore Him within your family and your community.

2.  Our psalmist speaks of a powerful, majestic God, who
speaks with a mighty, thundering voice.  How is God's majesty
at work in you, and how have you been empowered to be a good
witness for the Lord?