Monday, February 17, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, February 23, 2014


Psalm 103: 1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13 (Read)

“The Lord redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.”

Our psalmist sings the praises of a divine
and loving God, who surrounds us with
compassion, pardons our sins, heals our ills.
He nurses no lasting anger; He has not dealt
with us as our sins deserve.  Our duty is
to remain faithful to the Lord, and to treat
His anointed ones with love and compassion,
as He would do.

This Sunday's Gospel teaches a powerful and
difficult lesson – We are to be merciful to our
enemies by imitating the Father.  The Psalm
tells us how, by being “Merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.”

Who can love their enemies, and do good to them?
It will be difficult if we allow our earthly nature
to rule us.  Just as “God has not dealt with us
as our sins merit,” so must we imitate God and
have compassion on those we would typically
want to condemn.

We cannot imitate God without a share in Christ’s
divinity, and in turn being empowered by the holy
Spirit within us.  Only then will we have the kind
of compassion the psalmist speaks about,  “As a
father has compassion on his children, so the Lord
has compassion on the faithful.”

If we love the Lord, it will show in our hearts, and
the old things will then pass away.  The Psalm says
it well:  “As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He put our transgressions behind us.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalm speaks of a loving and compassionate God,
who does not deal with us according to our sins.   Are you able
to treat those who have harmed you in the same way?  Explain.

2.  The verses of the Psalm remind us of the power of the
Sacrament of Reconciliation, "As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He put our transgressions behind us."  Relate how the
Sacrament works for you to put your sins behind you.


  1. We should all be very grateful that God "does not deal with us according to our sins." Fortunately He is a merciful and compassionate God .........THANK GOD!!!! Would we have survived the early pre Jesus Christ years, when it was an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth....I think not.

  2. I thought about God's mercy, love and grace toward us fragile human beings. I also asked myself this question, "Am I able, in a loving and compassionate way, to love those who harmed me?" "Not at all," that was my first response. "My spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak."

    How could I love someone who is unlovable and forgive someone who is unforgivable? No matter how much I tried to be good and righteous, my heart was full of pride and condemnation. Unless I ask Jesus to come and fill me with His love and compassionate heart in every day prayers, I have no power and strength to give my love to my neighbors. Without Him it is impossible for me to reach out and treat them right.

    Recently there were several incidents where I demonstrated my fallen and ugly nature to contractors at our house, over their careless mistakes. I was so mad that I condemned them calling them, "Idiot." I said, "I will blame you for the rest of my life," because of this awful damage you caused to my wood floor. In my spirit I discerned and sensed that it was a trap set on us by the devil. The thought came to me that it was a blessing only the materials were damaged, not persons. Even though my behavior was ugly and not Christian-like, God tried to teach me how to cope with this kind of situation in a patient way and how to treat them in a loving way. He reminded me that Jesus himself was a carpenter.

    Eventually l laid down my frustration and hostility over their mistakes at the feet of Jesus. I confessed my unloving behavior with a contrite heart. He filled me with warm tears in my eyes. I realized it will only be possible for me to be able to love those who offend me when God fills me with His love and compassionate heart. When He does that, He wants me to bear the fruit of the Spirit, love, kindness, goodness and patience toward His people because He loves them as much as He loves me. For that reason I always praise God for loving me as well as others equally.