Monday, December 29, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, January 4, 2015


Psalm 72:  1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13  (Read) 

"All kings shall pay Him homage."  


The Psalm is a prayer for our newborn King.      
Our psalmist speaks of a Messiah who will be 
like the “rain coming down upon the fields,
like showers watering the earth.”  Our psalmist 

prays that our newborn King will be anointed 
by God with divine judgment and empowered
to rule the earth.

The prophet Isaiah in our 1st reading predicts 

that the light of the Lord will cause our hearts 
to overflow and the riches of the sea to be 
emptied out before us.  (Isaiah 60:5)
Our psalmist also speaks of “abundance”
that will flourish in his days.”

But the Messiah is among us to do more than 

bless us materially; the savior has come to make 
our burdens light, to share our afflictions.
“For he rescues the poor when they cry out,
shows pity to the needy and the poor,
saves the lives of the poor.”

We see the light, just as the prophet Isaiah said

we would. (Isaiah 60:1)  In the Psalm, the mystery 
is revealed to us, poor in spirit though we are:
“He rescues the poor when they cry out [as we do],
the oppressed who have no one to help.”

This is what our Good Shepherd Jesus is sent to do,
to shepherd God’s people. This is why we join the Magi 

in paying homage to our newborn King and join 
with our psalmist in singing, "Blessed be the Lord; 
Blessed be His glorious name."


Discussion Questions for Reflection

Our psalmist mentions 'afflicted ones' and 'the afflicted'
in two of the Psalm's verses.  Are there times when you can
identify yourself as an 'afflicted' one?   Tell what remedies
are available to you that are mentioned in the Psalm.

The Psalm says, 'Lord, every nation on earth will
adore you.'   Using the verses of the Psalm, explain why
'all kings' would want to pay homage to our Lord.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, December 28, 2014


Psalm 128:  1-2, 3, 4-5  (Read)

“Blessed are those who fear
the Lord and walk in His ways.”

Our psalmist tells us that a man who
has a right relationship with the Lord
will also obtain a right relationship with
his wife and his family.  If we have a right
relationship with the Lord, we will know
how to treat our wives and our children,
and in turn, we will discover how blessed
we are in our home and by the presence of
our family.  “Just so will the man be blessed
who fears the Lord.”

And if a man walks with the Lord, this will
be reflected in the way he loves his wife.
Because if a man cherishes his wife,
as ‘flesh of his flesh’ and ‘bone of his bones,’
he nourishes his relationship with her,
as Christ nourishes the Church.
And the man’s reward is that his wife will be
like a ‘fruitful vine’ within his house.  This is
how a man is blessed who fears the Lord.

Having been so favored by God,  we understand
why, 'A man shall leave his father and mother
and cleave to his wife.'   God made them one flesh,
and, 'What God has joined, no human being
may separate.'

If we fear the Lord and walk in His ways, we will
receive the blessings of our labor, prosper in a
material way, and grow old gracefully in the
company of our family.



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm tells us how to gain God's favor
so that our family life will be blessed.  What does
it mean to you to fear the Lord and walk in His ways?

2.  We learn from our psalmist how to behave toward
our wife and our children.  A right relationship with our
family is obtained by having a right relationship with our Lord.
Explain how you are putting this teaching into practice.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, December 21, 2014


Psalm 89:  2-3, 4-5, 27-29  (Read)

" I have made a covenant with my chosen one.”

This Sunday's Psalm sings about God’s  
promises to Israel and God's covenant with David.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one.”
That same divine selection is celebrated in our 

1st reading that tells the story of how David was 
taken from pasturing sheep to become Israel’s 
commander. (2 Samuel 7:8)

Our psalmist quotes the Lord, “I have sworn to 

David my servant: Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”

And how does this young shepherd boy rise to 

greatness in Israel? He succeeds because he has 
found favor with God, and God will be the source of his 
strength.  This is the same divine strength that St Paul
tells us is available to each of us, if we believe and 

have faith. (Romans 16:25)

But it isn’t a one way street with the Lord. David is 

to show us that we must give glory to God.  He cries out,
“You are my Father, my God, the Rock, my Savior.”

Mary also finds favor with God and is anointed to be 

the Blessed Mother of our Lord Jesus.  She too responds
by giving glory to God in this week’s Gospel.  (Luke 1:38)

The Lord’s covenant with David stands firm, and it is 

through God’s promise to David that the Messiah is 
born of Mary. “Forever, I will maintain my love for David;
my covenant with him stands firm.” That promise 

to David is fulfilled in the birth of our Savior and for that 
we too must give glory to God.



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  David is to call out to the Lord, 'You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.' 

We too are inspired to cry out to God in a similar way. Tell of the times when you 
have felt like crying out to God in worship and praise.

2.  Our Psalm response is, 'Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.'  One reason 

to sing of the Lord's goodness is because His promises are trustworthy.  Describe how 
you have relied on the promises of the Lord in your journey.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, December 14, 2014


Luke 1:  46-48, 49-50, 53-54  (Read)

“My soul rejoices in my God.”

The Blessed Mother Mary speaks this hymn
of praise to God in the words of a humble servant,
“For He has looked upon his lowly handmaid.”

Despite her position as God’s chosen instrument,
Mary does not exalt herself; she exalts God
the Father as she professes her Magnificat.
Her soul “proclaims the greatness of the Lord.”
She glorifies the Lord, “The Almighty has done
great things for me.”  Mary is truly God’s anointed
one, and the spirit of the Lord is upon her.
She “rejoices heartily in the Lord.”

We too are God’s lowly creatures, and Mary inspires
us to expect the Lord will do great things for us as well.
We too should expect to be singled out by the Lord
to do His work.  This is our food (to do the Lord’s work)
just as it was for Jesus the Son.

Mary testifies to the light, as does John the Baptist in
our Gospel reading.  (John 1: 8)
Because of Mary’s faith, the Old Testament
promises are fulfilled, and the tide is turned.
As the Blessed Mother says, the hungry (that is who we are)
are filled with good things. 


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.    Mary declares that God has filled the 'hungry' with good things.  

Do you consider yourself one of the hungry ones? And if so, in what way 
has the Lord fed you with good things?

2.   Our Blessed Mother says, "The Almighty has done great things for me."  

In what way do you also believe that God has done great things for you, 
and how have you responded?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, December 7, 2014


Psalm 85:  9-10, 11-12, 13-14  (Read)

"Near indeed is His salvation."


The Psalm is a prayer that God
will grant mercy and forgiveness
to the Israelites, and by extension
we are told that our own salvation
is near.  “The Lord proclaims peace
to His people, glory dwelling in our land.”

The Prophet Isaiah tells us in today's
1st reading, our God declares, “Give
comfort to my people.”  And Zion is told,
“Cry out at the top of your voice;
here is your God!"  (Isaiah 40:1,6,9)

The Psalm is a promise of salvation.
“Near indeed is salvation for those
who fear Him.”  St Peter too affirms
that the Lord does not delay in keeping His
promise in today's 2nd reading.  (2 Peter 3:9)

And what should we expect?
Nothing less than the coming of the Messiah
himself.  Our psalmist affirms, “Truth will spring
from the earth,” and for us this takes place
when the Messiah is born.

The psalmist prepares the way of the Lord,
as does John the Baptist in this week's Gospel.
As the Psalm says, “Justice shall walk before
Him and prepare the way of His steps.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm says, "Truth shall spring out of the earth."  For us this verse 

foretells the coming of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ.  What else about 
the Psalm prepares us for the birth of our Savior?

2.  Our psalmist says, "I will hear what God proclaims."  This verse can be seen 

as a reminder to study the Word of the Lord.  Explain how your study of the Word 
is strengthening your faith.