Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, June 1, 2014


Psalm 47:  2-3, 6-7, 8-9 (Read)
“God mounts His throne amid shouts of joy.” 


This Sunday we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord,
who was taken up to heaven to be seated at the right
hand of the Father, far above every principality,
with authority over every nation, as our 2nd reading
tells us (Ephesians 1:17-23).

With such an awesome God on His throne, what hope
do we have as mere human beings that He will have
anything more to do with us?  How far removed can
we be if this Jesus is taken up to heaven and has all
things put beneath His feet (including us)?

Fortunately, for us men, Jesus leaves us with a way
to share in His divinity, through the Holy Spirit
which He gives to us.  His power and presence remain
within us, so long as we repent from our sins and
believe in Him.

Power is often associated with arrogance and brutal
treatment, but our God uses His power to work
miracles, and bring about healing.   He is risen, and
is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven.
Knowing this, we shout with joy, and we praise Him.

As today's Gospel tells us, after Jesus' ascension, the
disciples begin their active ministry, empowered by
the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28: 16-20).   That same power
is given to us so long as we believe; we too are called
to ministry.  And for that we are inspired to praise
the Lord, as the psalmist says, “Clap your hands,
shout to God with joyful cries; sing praise to God!”



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm speaks of God mounting His throne and reigning over 

the nations.   If God is raised up so far above us, how do you go about
having a relationship with our Lord so that He is present to you?

2.  The Psalm's verses tell of God as the great king over all the earth, 

and we are urged to sing praise to our king.  Describe how our Lord's 
ascension inspires you to celebrate with shouts of joy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, May 25, 2014

Psalm 66:  1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20 (Read)

“Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”

The Psalm celebrates the awesome power of God, 

manifest in “His tremendous deeds among the children 
of Adam.” Our psalmist recalls the dividing of the Red 
Sea, which delivered Israel from the Egyptians, by the 
favor of God.  That same awesome power that split the 
Red Sea became available to the early apostles of the 
Church, as they went about healing and doing signs 
and wonders.

Where does that power come from to heal the lame and 

drive out unclean spirits?   It comes from the Holy Spirit, 
who accomplishes in each of us a spiritual resurrection.
No wonder those early believers in Samaria were eager 
to have St Peter and St John lay hands on them so they 
could receive the Holy Spirit (1st reading, Acts 8:5-8, 14, 17). 
In response, they cry out to God with joy, as our psalmist 
says, “Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.”

We too cannot help but sing praise to God when we feel
His presence within us.  In today's Gospel (John 14:15-21)
our Savior promises that He will not leave us spiritual orphans.
Rather, He assures us that we are in Him and He is in us.
We proclaim His glorious praise, and we on earth worship Him.
We want all the earth to know what God has done for us;
as the Psalm says, we shout joyfully to God and proclaim His
glorious praise.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm urges us to say to God, "How tremendous are
your deeds!"  Speak of the Lord's awesome works in your life 

and how you go about praising Him.

2.  Our psalmist blesses God who "refused me not."  Tell of how 

your petitions and prayers have been answered by the Lord.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, May 18, 2014


Psalm 33:  1-2, 4-5, 18-19 (Read)

“The eyes of the Lord are upon those
who fear Him, to deliver them from death,
and preserve them in spite of famine.”

The Psalm says that the Lord's eyes are 

upon us because we hold Him in awe, 
we praise Him.  Like a Good Shepherd 
He protects us from harm; He puts up 
a hedge around us and provides us with 
armor in our battle against death and the
evil one.  He feeds us when we go through 

periods of spiritual hunger.  He nourishes 
us and gives us our daily spiritual bread.

Where else would we turn for deliverance from
death, the kind of death which is a consequence
of sin?  Remember,  “The wages of sin is death,”
and we are all afflicted.  Fortunately for us, Christ
destroyed death and brought life to us

We would be dead in our sins without the Lord's
protection, defeated by the evil one without the
Lord's armor.  And when our hearts are starved
for God's presence, when our bones are dry, He
nourishes us and breathes life into our dry bones.

It is through His Plan that we are saved.  Our
own feeble efforts count for nothing. We must be
submissive and abandon ourselves to His Plan.
Our Savior himself tells us in today's Gospel,
"I am the way and the truth and the life," and He
teaches us, "Whoever believes in me will do the
works that I do." (John 14: 1-12)

Because Christ humbles himself for our sake,
becomes a slave to our sin, there is hope for us,
even in our time of spiritual famine.  That is the
meaning of the response, “Lord, let your mercy
be on us, as we place our trust in you.”



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist speaks of holding the Lord
in awe and knows that the eyes of the Lord are upon
us.  Describe how you react when the eyes of the Lord
are upon you and you are in His presence.

2.  The Psalm Response today inspires us to place
our trust in the Lord and await His mercy.  Tell of
how your trust in the Lord has strengthened you and
inspired you to do His will.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, May 11, 2014


Psalm 23:  1-2, 3-4, 5, 6 (Read)

“The Lord is my shepherd;  there is nothing I shall want."                                                                            
We are like sheep, and we look to the Good Shepherd 
to lead us beside still waters, and guide us along right
paths.  We fear no harm, because the Good Shepherd 

is at our side. 

The Psalm's words are a source of peace for us, 

a source of strength, a source of healing.  The Lord 
provides for us, as he does the little sparrows and the 
lilies of the field – “There is nothing I shall want.”

The Lord restores us, for we had gone astray like sheep,

but have returned to the shepherd and guardian of our
souls (today's 2nd reading, 1 Peter 2:20-25).   Jesus
himself assures us that we who enter the sheepfold
through Him will be saved and will find pasture (Gospel,
John 10:1-10).

Our psalmist promises that we are to be anointed by 

the Lord, “You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.”  
This cup becomes for us the precious blood of Christ, the
source of our salvation.

We lack nothing when we trust in the Lord.  We fear nothing, 

even when our lives are at a low point spiritually or physically.  
Having been rescued by our Savior, and now counted among
His obedient sheep, we are ready to do His will.  We are 
groomed to enter the Kingdom and dwell in the house 
of the Lord forever.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm assures us that we will be given repose by the Lord 

and led to restful waters.  Describe how these verses are a source 
of peace and a source of healing for you.

2.  Our psalmist assures us that only goodness and mercy will 

follow us all the days of our life and that we shall dwell in the house 
of the Lord forever.   Tell of how you are comforted by these words 
that speak of our eternal joy in the Lord's mansion.