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scattered and had withdrawn from God.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.