Monday, December 28, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, January 3, 2016


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

“All kings shall pay him homage, all nations shall serve him.”

Our psalmist  speaks about a perfect king –
a king who judges like God, governs his people 
with justice, and his afflicted ones with right
judgment.  But where is such a king  to be found?  

Not likely among the kings of Israel.

The psalm speaks of a king that is to live as long 

as the sun endures, like the moon through all 
generations.  So there is a mystery about him –
“He rules from sea to sea, from the River to the 

ends of the earth.”

The verses of the psalm recall for us the Epiphany – 

“The Kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts; 
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.”
(See also this Sunday's Gospel, The Visit of the Magi,

Matthew 2:1-12)

The more we read the Psalm, the more it tells us 

about the Messiah to come – “May all kings bow 
before him, all nations serve him.” We see the light, 
just as the prophet Isaiah said we would.  (Isaiah 60: 1-3)

The mystery is revealed to us, poor in spirit though 

we are:  “He rescues the poor when they cry out, 
the afflicted 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, "Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist describes a powerful king who will rule from sea to sea.  

Yet this king stoops to rescue the afflicted and has pity on the lowly and 
the poor.   In what way do these verses speak to you about our Lord and Savior?

2.  The psalm mentions that all the kings of the civilized world shall offer gifts 

to this newly endowed king.   Are you also inspired to bring tribute to our
newborn Savior, and what sort of gift will you offer? 


Monday, December 21, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, December 27, 2015


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 14, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, December 20, 2015


Psalm 80:  2-3, 15-16, 18-19  (Read)

“Lord, make us turn to you, and we shall be saved.”


The Psalm is a prayer to restore
Israel, and by extension to restore us,
as a scattered people of God.
The Psalm is well adapted to our
prayer during Advent.  We are a people
scattered and separated from God, and
we await His coming.  He alone can
'make us turn to Him' and convert us.
“Shepherd of Israel, lend an ear;
come to save us.”

Our psalmist makes a direct appeal
to God to shepherd us.   “Turn again
Lord, attend to this vine.”  Just as
the Lord tends to His vineyard, He
protects a shoot planted by His right
hand.  The coming of Christ is intended
to revive us, restore our strength.  
As the Psalm says, “Then we will not
withdraw from you; give us new life, and
we will call upon your name.”

Where does our hope for revival
come from?  It comes from our Savior,
our cornerstone, sent by the Lord.
In Him we are restored.   “Lord of
hosts restore us; let your face shine
upon us, that we may be saved.”

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.


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 when we feel separated from God. 
In what way are you inspired by the Psalm's verses to repent and seek renewal?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, December 13, 2015


Isaiah 12: 2-3, 4, 5-6

“With joy you will draw water from 
the fountains of salvation.”

This is a Song of Thanksgiving, from the
prophet Isaiah, expressed in the language 

of the Psalms.  But the prophet is also 
speaking about salvation -- “God indeed 
is my salvation.”  Later Isaiah says,
“With joy you will draw water from the 
fountains of salvation.”

These verses speak to us of our Savior and 

are in keeping with the theme of this Sunday's 
first reading, “The Lord your God is a mighty 
savior.”  (Zephaniah 3:17)

And having been promised salvation, we are to

“Rejoice in the Lord always,” as St Paul tells us 
in Sunday's second Reading. (Philippians 4:4)

And what effect does the promise of salvation
have on us?  We draw strength from our saving

relationship with God – Isaiah says it for us,
“I am confident and unafraid.”  (Remember, God’s 

perfect love drives out fear.)  Isaiah gives us further 
evidence, “My strength and my courage is the Lord.”

And where does the power come from that is the 

source of our courage?   It comes from our baptism,
first with water, then from our baptism in the Holy 
Spirit.  This is the good news that John preached
when he promised that the Christ would baptize us 

with the Holy Spirit. (Gospel, Luke 3:16)

And as Isaiah reminds us, during this season of Advent 

we are to sing praise to the Lord -- “Let the good news 
be known throughout all the earth!”  We are to “Shout 
with exultation, for great in our midst, is the Holy One 
of Israel!”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Response this Sunday is, 'Cry out with joy and gladness:
for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.'   Describe how
you prepare to receive Jesus inside your heart during this season
of Advent.

2.  Isaiah says, 'My strength and my courage is the Lord.'   Explain
what this verse means to you, especially at this time of the year.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, December 6, 2015


Psalm 126:  1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6  (Read)

“The Lord has done great things for us.”

This Sunday's Psalm speaks about the 
joyous return of Israel from exile and 
captivity.  “The Lord has restored the 
captives of  Zion.”  As we hear in 
Sunday's 1st reading (Baruch 5:1)
Jerusalem is to take off  her robe of 
misery and to put on the splendor of 
God forever.  Truly, “The Lord has 
done great things for them.”

But there is more -- as the Psalm says,

the Lord has done great things for us
as well.  What could be more wonderful
than what Christ does for us, in leading
us out of our spiritual captivity in a sinful
world, to a place of splendor where the
Father dwells.  We are restored by the
Lord’s grace, and our spiritual dryness
is filled with the baptismal waters, like
the dry stream beds of the Negeb.

But we must do our part – the 'sowing
of tears' is a time of repentance for us.
It is just as John the Baptist proclaims
in the Gospel – we must be baptized in
repentance, for the forgiveness of our sins.
(Luke 3:3)

And what is the sign of true repentance?
It is when one produces good fruit by
what we sow.   As the Psalm says,
“Those who go forth weeping, carrying
sacks of seed, will return with cries of joy,
carrying their bundled sheaves.”

Finally the Psalm reminds us that the
truly great thing the Lord has done for us
is to send His only begotten Son to be by
our side.  Jesus’ presence is a guarantee
of a spiritual harvest that leads to our
own salvation.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist reminds us, 'We are filled with joy,' because the Lord 

has done great things for us!   Tell of  how these verses speak to you 
during this Advent season of the arrival of our incarnate Lord.

2.  The Psalm says, 'Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.'  

Describe how repentance has led to salvation in your spiritual life.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, November 29, 2015


Psalm 25:  4-5, 8-9, 10, 14  (Read)

“Good and upright is the Lord,

who shows sinners the way.” 


We are blessed to have a God who does not 
disregard us.  On the contrary, He is a caring, 
compassionate God, willing to humble himself 
to share in our humanity, so that we might
share in his divinity.  Who else would have 
such regard for sinners, for believers who 
disobey him?
The Lord is talking to all of us in these verses; 
we are all sinners.  Jesus was criticized for 
consorting with sinners, but He replied that 
the sick (people like us) are the ones who 
need a physician.  We are all able to benefit 
from the healing power of Jesus.  As our
psalmist says, the Lord is compassionate
and loving.  All we have to do is to humble 

ourselves before Him and keep His 

“Make known to me your ways, Lord; teach 

me your paths.”  We are told that if we follow
the Lord's way, we will be able to turn away 

from sin and avoid death.  And how does 
the Lord show us the way?  By sending us
His son, who is the way, the truth, and the life!

We know that salvation is available to us 

through the coming of the Messiah.  Our 
psalmist, David, celebrates the coming of 
Christ when he says, “You are God my 
savior; for you I wait all the day long.”

Our Lord shows us sinners the way.
It is He who encourages us when our
tongues confess –
“The Lord guides the humble rightly,
and teaches the humble His way.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalm response this Sunday is, 'To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.'
As we begin the season of Advent, speak of how you are raised up
spiritually by the coming arrival of our Lord.

2.  Our psalmist petitions the Lord to make known His ways and teach
us His paths.  Tell of how you have been shown direction by the Lord
along the path of life.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, November 22, 2015


Psalm 93:  1, 1-2, 5  (Read)

“The Lord is king, robed in majesty."

The Psalm celebrates God’s Kingdom,
in which the Lord reigns with majesty,
“gird about with strength.”  God revealed 

His  kingship when He created the world.
But it is during the end times that the
kingdom of God will be displayed in
all its glory.  This is in keeping with
our readings this week,  in preparation
for our celebration of the Solemnity of
Christ the King this Sunday.

The prophet Daniel in this Sunday's first

reading speaks of the coming of the Son 
of Man during the end times. (Daniel 7:13-14)  
Sunday's second reading (Revelation 1:5-6)
is more explicit and brings us into the picture.  

Christ’s blood frees us, and makes us into a 
kingdom, where we become priests for God 
the Father.

The kingdom is to be ruled under the Lord's 

decrees, which are firmly established, as the Psalm 
reminds us.  But as Jesus says in the Gospel, 
His kingdom is not of this world. (John 18:36)
His kingdom cannot be observed.  But surely
it is among us, and most certainly, in our hearts.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist proclaims, "The Lord is king, robed with majesty, 

girded with might."  Yet our Lord Jesus did not seek a kingdom belonging 
to this world.  Where do you find the kingdom of the Lord?   How do you 
reach our mighty Lord?

2.  The Psalm says that the Lord's throne stands firm and is everlasting.  

In what way do you gain strength from this verse?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, November 15, 2015


Psalm 16:  5, 8, 9-10, 11  (Read)

"O Lord, you will show me the path to life.”

This psalm of David speaks to us
about a belief in an everlasting life
with God.  “Lord, my allotted
portion and my cup, you have made
my destiny secure.”

The psalmist takes refuge in the Lord --
“With the Lord at my right hand,
I shall never be shaken....  My body,
too, abides in confidence.”

The distress that the prophet Daniel 

speaks about in Sunday's first 
reading (Daniel 12:1) is overcome by 
the assurance in the Psalm that the 
Lord will not abandon his people (us). 
“For you will not abandon my soul 
to the netherworld, nor let your 
faithful servant see the pit.”

In addition, we can understand the last 

verses of the Psalm as a prophecy of the
glorious day when we will see God’s Son
seated at the right hand of the Father.
“You will show me the path to life,
abounding joy in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.”

St Peter also uses the Psalm as a 

prophecy that Jesus would be raised up 
and would sit at the right hand of the 
Father. (Acts 2:25-28)   For us these 
are encouraging words, with a promise 
that we too can look forward to being 
lifted up and spending the rest of our
days in the presence of the Lord.

The Lord promises, if we are his faithful
servants, that we will not have to see 

the pit.  He will not abandon us.  As David
says, this is enough to make our hearts 
glad and our souls rejoice.


Discussion Questions for Reflection


1.  Our psalmist says that he will not be shaken or disturbed
so long as the Lord is with him at his right hand.  Speak of how
the Lord enables you to be strong, so that your faith cannot be shaken.

2.  The Psalm says that the Lord will show us the path to life.
Explain why this verse gives you confidence that you, as a
believer, can look forward to an everlasting life with God.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, November 8, 2015


Psalm 146:  7, 8-9, 9-10  (Read)

“The Lord gives food to the hungry, sets captives free.”



This Sunday's Psalm sings of the promises of the Lord.   
Just as Elijah promised the widow in this Sunday's first 
reading that she would not go hungry (1 Kings 17:16),
so does the Psalm promise that the Lord will sustain 

the widow and the fatherless.    

But the Lord’s promises go far beyond flour and oil.   
The Psalm contains encouraging words not only for 
poor widows, but for each of us as well.
God's promises are fulfilled in the person of Jesus,
who carries out the promises of the Psalm – He sets us 

captives free and gives sight to us so we can truly see.
And Jesus sustains us -- with real food and drink.
“The Lord raises up those who were bowed down.”  

We are all bowed down because of our brokenness 
at one time or another.  And where do we turn to be 
lifted up and made whole again?   We turn to the Lord.  
Who else has the grace and the mercy to heal us?

Have we not been under pressure from the evil one
to commit sin?  Have we not been held captive at 

one time or another by our sins?  And do we not 
experience a hunger for the Lord and for a deeper faith?

That same power that gives sight to the blind and

raises up those who are bowed down is available 
to lift us up away from whatever imprisons us.  
All it takes is to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior,
and open our hearts to Him.

So we can pray this Psalm, not only in honor of the 

heavenly Father, but also in honor of Christ, whom God
exalted.  And having done that, we can join with the 
psalmist and sing, “The Lord shall reign forever; 
our God, through all generations."


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist promises that the Lord will secure justice for the oppressed 

and set captives free.   In what ways have you been imprisoned, and how 
has the Lord set you free?

2.  The Psalm says the Lord gives food to the hungry.  Describe how the Lord 

has given you real food and drink to satisfy your hunger for a closer relationship 
with Him.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, November 1, 2015


Psalm 24:  1-2, 3-4, 5-6  (Read)

“Who may go up the mountain of the Lord?

Who can stand in His holy place?"


This Sunday's Psalm is about a journey to 
a holy place.   It is a place where we will meet 
the Lord.   But we are asked, “Who can ascend 
the mountain of the Lord?  Who may stand in
His holy place?”

Our psalmist answers, “The clean of hand and  

pure of heart, who has not given his soul 
to what is vain, such is the people that seeks 
the face of God.”

We are all unworthy to be in the Lord's 

presence, but at least we can cleanse 
ourselves through confession, and bathe 
in the Word.  That is how we show our love
for the Lord.

Though we may not have to climb a mountain 

to meet the Lord, we must prepare to receive 
Him in our hearts.  The Psalm is guiding us to
prepare ourselves from within, so that we are
made ready to receive Him when He comes.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm asks, "Who can go up to the mountain of the Lord?   

How do you prepare yourself to ascend the mountain of the Lord and 
stand in His holy place?

2.  The Response this Sunday is, "Lord, this is the people that longs 

to see your face."   Describe the longing in your heart for our Lord.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, October 25, 2015


Psalm 126:  1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6  (Read)

“Restore our fortunes, O Lord.”

This Sunday's Psalm celebrates the 
reversal of Israel’s fortune, and return
from exile, which could not have
occurred without God’s intervention.
The psalm's verses reflect praise for 

what the Lord has done.  “The Lord 
has done great things for them.”

The psalm is also a petition asking 

the Lord to look after the future of the
remaining Israelites.  And there is an
expectation that God will guide them 

in achieving prosperity.

“Restore again our fortunes, Lord, 

like the dry stream beds of the Negeb.”  
This calls to mind our lst reading from 
Jeremiah, where God promises to lead 
the remnant of Israel to brooks of water,
on a level road, so that none shall
stumble.   (Jeremiah 31:9)   We too are 

looking for that water which restores
and renews, cleanses us and purifies us, 
that living water which satisfies our
spiritual thirst.

The Psalm also reminds us the truly great thing 

the Lord has done for us is to send his only
begotten Son to be by our side.  Jesus’ presence 

in our lives is a guarantee of a spiritual harvest 
that will lead to our own salvation.  Just as 
Bartimaeus, the blind man in the Gospel, is saved
by his own faith, the Lord promises us a transition 

from a sinful existence to a world of joy.  (Mark 10:52)

The Psalm says it well, “Those who go forth weeping, 

carrying the seed to be sown, shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.”  And therein lies a lesson for us – 

to let go of our own baggage, and pick up the Lord’s
burden, because we know his yoke is easy.

Whatever type of spiritual exile may imprison us, Jesus 

shows us a way out.  God is in the business of deliverance.

As the prophet Jeremiah confirms, we go among the blind 

and the lame to the promised land. (Jeremiah 31:8) 
We carry our sacks with us and within those seeds that 
we sow is contained the promise of new life, the reversal 
of whatever misfortune may trouble us.  When the
harvest comes in, we can join with the psalmist and sing, 

"Our mouths are filled with laughter, our tongues sing for joy.”



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm alludes to a reversal of spiritual exile that may apply to people like us.  

Tell of how the Lord has brought you back from a time of being distant from Him.

2.  Our psalmist suggests that we carry the seeds of our own salvation even while 

we go forth weeping.  Speak of how your faith has saved you, when you looked 
to the Lord for healing.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, October 18, 2015


Psalm 33:  4-5, 18-19, 20, 22  (Read)

"Lord, let your mercy be on us,
as we place our trust in you.”

Our Sunday Psalm is written in praise

of God’s power and providence.
It is the Lord’s design for his
people that stands through all
the generations.  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 providence.

And how do we know his plan?
This Sunday's lst reading (Isaiah)
graphically outlines what God has 

in mind for his Son, that He be 
'crushed for our offenses.' (Isaiah 53:10)
As unpleasant as this sounds,
that is how we are delivered from
death.  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   The psalmist has it right,
“The Lord’s eyes are upon those who fear Him, 

to deliver them from death.”

In Sunday's 2nd reading, the Letter to the Hebrews 

answers the question, “How can we approach the throne
of God?”  The answer is with confidence, and then 
we will find mercy and grace. (Hebrews 4:16)
The theme of the Psalm is the same, “The Lord’s eyes 

are upon those who hope for his grace.”

It is said that even people who have no faith 

have a longing in their hearts for God.  There is something 
missing in their lives.  For us who are believers,
we are dependent on the Lord – we openly ask for 

his help and his protection.  He is our shield in the 
spiritual battle that we all have to fight.

If we trust in the Lord, his eyes will be upon us, 

and we can expect to receive his grace.  And as 
the psalmist says, through the Lord's grace we
are delivered from death, kept alive in times of famine.   

And for this we praise the Lord.  As the psalmist says,
we know He will fill the earth with goodness and his 

kindness will be upon us.  The Psalm ends on a positive
note, “Lord we have put our hope in you.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The psalmist says, 'Our soul waits for the Lord.'  Tell of how you have 

a spiritual hunger for the Lord in your life, and explain how the Lord satisfies 
your longing.

2.  The psalm's verses state that, 'The eyes of the Lord are upon those who 

fear Him.'   Do you feel the eyes of the Lord upon you because you hold 
Him in awe?  Explain.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, October 11, 2015


Psalm 90:  12-13, 14-15, 16-17  (Read)

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we 

  may gain wisdom of heart."

The Psalm reminds us that man’s days are 
numbered, and that we should use our time 
wisely, making our days and our life count 
for something.  And how do we do that?  
We do it by being open to the wisdom of God.
Just as Solomon preferred the gift of wisdom 

over material wealth (Wisdom 7:7-9), so too
do we see the advantage of using our time 

wisely by doing the Lord's will.

Although we may never receive the wisdom 

of Solomon that this Sunday's first reading 
talks about, we can hope for some  ability to be 
detached from worldly things, which can separate 
us from God.

How do we do this?  Where does the ability come from, 

to cut through all our present day concerns?
It comes from the Word – “The Word of God is sharper
than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between 

soul and spirit, joints and marrow." (Hebrews 4:12)

Scripture teaches us that the Word will give us a 

correct view of life, and this will allow us to have
a right relationship with the Lord.  Having got that right, 

we may receive the favor of the Lord and be counted 
among his sheep.  As the Psalm says, “May the favor
of the Lord our God be ours.”

How much better will our lives be if we may sing for joy, 

as the psalmist says, and be filled at daybreak
with the love of the Lord.   And having received God’s 

favor, we will want to be His servants and do His work.  
We will become laborers in the field where the
harvest is plentiful.  And as the Psalm says, 

“The work of our hands will prosper.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm speaks about using our time wisely.   Tell of how you set 

your priorities so that you are serving God and doing His will.

2.  Our psalmist talks of how we may gain 'wisdom of heart.'  Give an example 

of how you are receiving wisdom to discern a correct view of life so that you 
will not offend the Lord.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, October 4, 2015


Psalm 128:  1-2, 3, 4-5, 6  (Read)

“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine

in the recesses of your home.”

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.

And walking in the ways of the Lord will be 

reflected in the way a man treats his wife.   
A man’s wife is after all, “bone of my bones, 
flesh of my flesh.”  (Genesis 2:23)

As Christ nourishes the Church, so a man 

cherishes his wife, and nourishes his relationship 
with her.  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.

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 they be blessed
who fear the Lord.”

Having been so favored by God, we understand 

why, “A man shall leave his father and mother and 
be joined to his wife.”  God made them one flesh,
and, “What God has joined, no human being may 

separate.” (Gospel, Mark 10:7-9)

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 wife and children.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist speaks of the benefits of a right relationship with the Lord. 
Tell of how fearing the Lord has led you to have a better relationship with your 

spouse and your family members.

2.  The Psalm asks, "May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives."  Recall how 

you have been blessed by God, both physically and spiritually, and how you have 
been inspired to walk in His ways.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, September 27, 2015


Psalm 19: 8, 10, 12-13, 14  (Read)

“The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.”

This Sunday's Psalm celebrates the Law of 
the Lord, first given to Moses on Mt Sinai.  
But it also tells us what God’s Law reveals 
about our Creator, and about the joy that is 
stirred up in our hearts when we follow the 
Lord’s commands.

If I am to imitate the divine life, everything 

I need to know is found in God’s Law.  Our 
psalmist David shows me that the Law of 
Moses is an instruction manual for life.   
I learn that obeying the Law does not prevent
me from being happy or limit me in a negative way.   

Instead, obeying the Law brings much reward.
I am kept from willful sins by the Law.  Obey the Law 

and I will not be controlled by sin and instead will be 
able to walk as a God fearing person.  I may think
of statutes as something intended to control me or 

restrict me.   But as our psalmist explains, the Law 
of the Lord does the opposite – it is in fact a source
of joy, something to be desired.  This is so because

the Law gives me wisdom and provides me with 
something I can trust.

“His ordinances are true, all of them just.”
Far more than a set of rules that I cannot hope to follow, 

God’s commandments refresh my soul.  They give 
‘wisdom to the simple,’ they are more 'desirable than
gold, sweeter also than honey.'

It is through the inspired Word of God that I know His 

commandments and through this Psalm that I know
His Law is a source of refreshment, a source of joy.   

His statutes do not bind me, they set me free.

The reading of the Law should not make me sad, but 

be a source of rejoicing.   Give me ears to hear!


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalm Response this Sunday is, "The precepts of the Lord
give joy to the heart."   Do you believe that the Lord's commandments
can be a source of joy, instead of a set of rules and restrictions?   Explain.

2.  Our psalmist says that the 'decree of the Lord gives wisdom to the simple.' 
Describe how God's Law inspires you to celebrate God's perfection and helps
you to imitate the divine life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, September 20, 2015


Psalm 54:  3-4, 5, 6, 8  (Read)
"O God, by your name save me."



The psalm is a prayer sung by David at a time when 
he was being hunted by King Saul.  David was in 
great peril, threatened by the “ruthless.” He says, 
“The ruthless seek my life; they set not God before 
their eyes.”

I may not be threatened by King Saul and his troops,
but I am surely under threat by satan and his band 

of fallen angels.  And where does the threat come from?
Is it from outside?   Or is it from within?  

For all my proclamations of trust in God, I can sense
the wavering inside of me which besets us all.   

Just as David turns to the Lord for protection, so too 

should I pray to the Lord to save me.  David prays, 
”O God, by your name save me.”  For me that name 
is the name of Jesus.  Where else would I turn for a 
shield in time of battle?   Or a sword in time of peril? 
With Christ present as my helper, I can turn back the 

evil which lurks within my heart.

David writes about the 'haughty men' who have risen 

against him.   Am I one of them?  Am I one of those
described in this Sunday's first reading who resent
the just one? (Wisdom 2:12)   Am I part of the crowd
who condemn Jesus to a shameful death to test if He 

is truly the son of God?

Are jealousy and selfish ambition lurking within me,
causing disorder and every foul practice, as St James 

warns us in Sunday's second reading? (James 3:16)   
Am I like the disciples on that journey with Jesus through 
Galilee who were arguing about who is the greatest?

If so, then I too had better call upon the name above all 

names to save me, as David does.  I had better pray that 
I will approach God in proper humility and pray that I shall
'undertake to become the last of all and the servant 
of all.' (Gospel, Mark 9:35)

“God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life.”
I had better receive Him;
I had better gain His peace to quiet the battle within.
I had better keep my eyes fixed on the cross;
I had better be open to rescue and redemption.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist is fighting against forces that threaten him; he says, 

"The ruthless seek my life."   Are you aware of powerful forces, external 
or internal, that put your faith in jeopardy?   Explain.

2.  The Psalm says, "The Lord upholds my life."  Speak of how your life 

is sustained by the Lord when you are under threat physically or spiritually.