Monday, January 26, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, February 1, 2015


Psalm 95:  1-2, 6-7, 7-9  (Read)

“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”



Today's Psalm is about obeying and worshiping God.
We are urged to bow down in worship before our God,
whose sheep we are (remember we are His 

well-tended flock).  We are instructed to be alert 
for His voice and to be receptive to His teachings 
(we need to be good listeners).

We are not to harden our hearts or test the Lord
(as the Israelites did at Meribah).  We are to humble 

ourselves and open our hearts to the Lord 
(having done so we are set free).
Then we are no longer constrained by the
things of this world, and we can be open to His 

love and His teachings.

Moses prophesied that the Lord would speak to us
through one of our own kind (Deuteronomy 18:18).
So we had better listen to God’s son, Jesus, who 

became one of us so that we could be more like Him.
His works should be sufficient to convince us of His
saving power and grace.

St Paul tells us we need to be free from anxiety and 

distractions (1 Corinthians 7:32).  This is not an easy 
thing to do when we are caught up in the things of 
the world.  We would all benefit from an authoritative 
cleansing of our hearts, and a removal of unclean 
forces that distract us from hearing the voice of 
the Lord.  Then we can make room for Jesus 
to fill our hearts and remain in us.


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?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, January 25, 2015


Psalm 25:  4-5, 6-7, 8-9  (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?

Our psalmist David humbly offers up his sins to God 

his savior, and waits for God’s guidance. “The Lord guides 
the humble rightly, and teaches the humble His way.”

In today's Gospel the early disciples leave their nets
and their families behind when Jesus calls out 

to them. (Mark 1:16-20)   Jesus had a plan for His 
disciples, when He singled them out to serve Him.
God had a plan for Jonah as well (1st reading);
his mission was to warn the people of Nineveh
to repent and turn to the Lord.  (Jonah 3: 1-5)

St Paul, in our 2nd reading, has a similar message for 

all of us, that time is running out and any day now 
would be an acceptable day for us to focus on our own 
salvation. (1 Corinthians 7: 29-31)   The Lord is there 
to guide us, as He was in the days of David, our psalmist.

Whether it's through a Jonah in our midst or a Saint Paul,
the message of the Lord is clear – “Repent and believe 

in the Gospel.”  We may not be able to do this on our own,
but as our psalmist says, “The Lord shows sinners the way.”

The Lord is talking to all of us here; we are all sinners.
We are all able to benefit from the healing power of Jesus.
And where does the power come from to turn away from sin?
It comes from the Lord,  It is He who encourages us when 

our tongues confess, “Remember no more the sins of my youth;
remember me only in light of your love.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist petitions the Lord, 'Teach me your ways.'  

How do you go about learning the ways of the Lord?  Tell how 
the verses of the Psalm help you understand the ways of the Lord.

2.  Our Psalm says the Lord 'shows sinners the way.'  Give an example 

of how you have been guided by the Lord to turn away from sin and repent.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, January 18, 2015


Psalm 40:  2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10  (Read)

“Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.”               



The Psalm is a prayer of gratitude and of 
obedience to the Lord.  Our psalmist David 
answers God’s call when he says, “Here I am.”
Young Samuel does the same in our first reading.
Samuel waits expectantly for the Lord to speak

to him; he is ‘all ears’ when he hears the Lord’s 
voice. He grows up serving the Lord
and following God. (1 Samuel 3: 3-10,19)

Our psalmist says, “He put a new song into 

my mouth.” For us too it is no longer the same 
old tune or the same old we.   We are in fact
a new creation, singing out the good news.

Where does our joyful spirit come from?
It comes from the Lord, and we are called
to share what He has given us and to do
His will, which is our delight.

In the Gospel reading (John 1:35-42),
Andrew recognizes Jesus as the anointed one
and is drawn to Him. Andrew and his brother 

Simon truly become members of Christ's body.
They are joined to the Lord and have become

one spirit with Him, as St. Paul proclaims in 
our 2nd reading. (1 Corinthians 6:15,17)

We too are called to follow Christ and to do 

His will. Obedience isn’t an unpleasant chore 
for us.  Instead, as the Psalm tells us, 
“To do your will is my delight.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  In this beautiful Psalm our psalmist speaks of waiting, 

waiting for the Lord.   Tell what it means to you to have waited 
for the Lord, and what has been the result of your presenting 
yourself to the Lord?

2.  Our psalmist is delighted to do God's will; he says to God, 

"Your law is within my heart!"   Have you also felt the Lord's pleasure
when you obey Him and serve Him?   What does it mean to you 

to say God's law is within my heart?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, January 11, 2015


Psalm 29:  1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10  (Read)

“The voice of the Lord is over the waters.” 

The Psalm speaks of the voice of the Lord 

thundering over the waters, “The voice of the
Lord is power, the voice of the Lord is splendor.”

That same awesome voice was heard over the 

Jordan River that day when the heavens were 
torn open and the Holy Spirit descended upon 
Jesus as He was being baptized by John.  
What could be more powerful than the voice 
of God declaring, “This is my beloved Son,
with whom I am well pleased.”
(Gospel, Mark 1:11)

What happened at the Jordan River that day 

was to fulfill what the Lord said to the prophet
Isaiah, “Here is my servant whom I uphold, 
my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon
whom I have put my spirit.”  (Isaiah 42:1)

The Lord's baptism may have happened over

2000 years ago, but for us that was a life 
changing moment. God anointed Jesus with
the Holy Spirit and power that day, the power 
to serve the faithful (people like us), and to 
do battle on our behalf with the devil. 
(Acts 10:38)

From that time forward we too became eligible 

to serve the Lord as His chosen ones.   Isaiah 
tells us what our spiritual mission is to be:
like Jesus, we are to be a light to the nations, 
and open the eyes of the blind (those who do not 
know the Lord).  And imitating Jesus, we are
to bring out prisoners from confinement
(those who may be imprisoned by sin).
(Isaiah 42:6-7)   What better way would there

be for us to serve the Lord?


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm encourages us to give God the glory due
His holy name.  Tell of how you give God the glory in your
activities and your everyday life.

2.  Our psalmist speaks of a powerful, majestic God, who
speaks with a mighty, thundering voice.  How is God's majesty
at work in you, and how have you been empowered to be a good
witness for the Lord?