Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, March 23, 2014


Psalm 95:  1-2, 6-7, 8-9 (Read)

“We are the people God shepherds, the flock 

He guides.”

The Psalm is a call to praise the Lord
and to obey Him.  We are cautioned not
to “harden our hearts” as the Israelites
did at Meribah.  We are not to test the Lord
as our spiritual ancestors tested the Lord
“as in the day of Massah in the desert.”
After all, we are “God’s well tended flock.”

Our Lord is a good shepherd, and we are His
sheep.  As St Paul tells us in today's 2nd reading,
the love of God is “poured out into our hearts
through the holy Spirit.”  For that we should
“bow down in worship, kneel before the Lord
who made us.”  And when we humble ourselves
and open our hearts to the Lord, we are set free.
We are no longer constrained by the things of
this world, and we can be open to His love and
His teachings.

Today's Gospel affirms that Our Lord Jesus
is our Savior, and just as the life of the Samaritan
woman at the well was transformed by the voice
of Jesus, we too can be transformed, if we truly
listen to the Lord.  Not only will He tell us
“everything we ever did,” but He will give us
that living water which quenches our spiritual

At that point our hearts will no longer be hardened.
We will 'bow down in worship,' and as our psalmist
says, we will greet our Lord with a song of praise.



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist encourages us not to harden our hearts if we

hear God's voice.   Do you find it difficult sometimes to carry out
God's will in your life even if you believe He is speaking to you?   
Give an example.

2.  The psalm reminds us that we are like sheep and the Lord is our 

shepherd.   Are you willing to be just an ordinary sheep  among His 
flock?  If so, what does it mean to you to be shepherded by the Lord?


  1. Rudy H8:14 PM

    In the Psalms and throughout the New Testament we learn that the Lord is our Shepherd in two ways. First, as the Good Shepherd, He laid down His life for His sheep and, secondly, His sheep know His voice and follow Him.

    Like sheep, we too need a Shepherd. We are spiritually blind and lost in our sin. This is why Jesus spoke of the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:4-6). He is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for us. He searches for us when we’re lost, to save us and to show us the way to eternal life (Luke 19:10). We tend to be like sheep, consumed with worry and fear, following after one another. By not following or listening to the Shepherd’s voice (John 10:27), we can be easily led astray by others to our own destruction. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, warns those who do not believe and do not listen to Him: “I did tell you, but you do not believe . . . you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:25-28).

    Therefore Lord, we trust you, and we declare this day, this minute, that The Eternal God is our Shepherd. And we would not want it any other way.

  2. J Kim5:25 PM

    First of all, I really like Rudy H's comment. The image of God as our shepherd is truly found throughout Scripture. Why should this be so? What is it that makes us so much like sheep? According to a secular source: "sheep are dumb, gregarious, love to be in a herd, and must have a leader (shepherd), and must be told what to do and where to go... otherwise, they'll wander off and get lost." This worldly source actually used the phrase "sheep need rod and staff guidance." I laughed throughout the description; it was so Biblical although the author probably didn't know it.

    We are all so easily led astray and so easily overcome with doubt and worry. Can we criticize the Israelites at Meribah/Massah? Would we have been different? Our fallen nature would have caused us to react much the same. However, because we have taken drink from the spiritual well of Jesus, we have a clear "rod and staff" that instantly guides us back. We do not have to search for the latest thirst-quencher. We simply follow Jesus.

    It is the opening of our hearts (vs. the hardening...) that enables us to hear one, clear voice. Although the path He calls us onto may not always look inviting, we can be sure that it is the best one for our growth. And He will always be there, right next to us.

  3. How many times are we warned not to harden our hearts? Do you know why? We are not able to hear Our Shepherd's voice with a hardened heart. The psalmist warns us against hardening our hearts by resisting God's will.

    To tell the truth, I have been ungrateful, not submissive, and have disregarded His will continually because of my sins and my stubborn doubts within me, even though l know Jesus is my Good Shepherd. He is the only way. Without His leading me, l would lose my ultimate blessing from God - Everlasting Life. By allowing my heart to be hardened, I could lose my spiritual faith and my trust in God someday. I would become useless if l don't listen to His call. I could lose the way to eternal salvation.

    The Psalm's verses are an awakening voice for me -- "Harden not your hearts." From now on, I'll try to listen to His voice more diligently and obey His will for me. In this way I can be more attentive to my neighbors and all things around me. And then, He will shepherd me along His way. Thank you, Lord, for leading me along the right path as one of your sheep.