Monday, April 27, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, May 3, 2015

Psalm 22:   26-27, 28, 30, 31-32  (Read)

“Let the coming generation be told of the Lord."                                               

The verses of this Sunday's Psalm are uplifting     

and speak of the promise of salvation --
“The lowly shall eat their fill,”
(We who are poor in spirit are to live
life abundantly) and,
“May your hearts live forever!”
(We can count on the Lord for salvation.)

And praying these verses we recall that
the suffering of the righteous man
has brought about something good
in our human world.
“All the ends of the earth
will worship and turn to the Lord.”
“The generations to come
will proclaim to a people yet unborn
the deliverance you have brought.”
Our hope returns,
and we join with all the families of nations
in giving thanks to God,
who rules the world and dispenses justice.

Jesus says in today's Gospel,
“You can only bear fruit if you remain in me.” (John 15:4)
And how do we remain in Him?
The psalm says, “I will fulfill my vows
before those who fear the LORD.”
(We are to keep His commandments.)

Finally, our psalmist commits
that his descendants will serve the Lord,
“The generation to come will be told of the Lord.”
Here we are inspired by this Sunday's 1st reading,
where Barnabas reports that Saul
spoke out boldly in the name of Jesus. (Acts 9:27)
What better way for us to bear fruit,
than to speak out boldly for our faith,
to our children and grandchildren.

“To him my soul shall live.”
The Psalm ends with a reversal of
the righteous man's condition;
life is restored and the whole world
celebrates His deliverance.
What better Easter message is there than that?
And what more inspiring words for the early
Church as it reaches out to proclaim
the Gospel to the Gentiles.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist says, "I will fulfill my vows
before those who fear the LORD."   Does this verse inspire
you to confirm your faith boldly and take up God's praise
in the company of your fellow believers?   Discuss.

2.  The Psalm ends with an uplifting call for us to proclaim
the Lord's truth to the next generation.   Describe how
you have answered the Lord's call and how you go about
telling others about God's love.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, April 26, 2015

Psalm 118:  1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29  (Read)

“The stone rejected by the builders
has become the cornerstone.”             


This Sunday's Psalm is an Easter song.
The psalmist speaks of our savior, our cornerstone.
Our savior is Jesus, and though He appeared
weak and beaten on the cross,
He became victorious over death.
The psalmist speaks of that same irony,
“The stone rejected by the builders
has become the cornerstone.”


The Psalm tells us we are to, “Take refuge in the Lord.”
Though mortals may disappoint us,
the Lord will not leave us discouraged.
Better to take refuge in the Lord
than to put one's trust in princes.
Little children know instinctively whom to trust --
they know where the love is coming from.
And we are the same;
as children of God, we put our trust in the Lord.  
He is the Good Shepherd.
Where else would we turn?


“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.”
It is none other than the Good Shepherd who comes 

in the name of the Lord, to care and protect us sheep.  
(See also today's Gospel, John 10:11-18).
Our calling is only to listen for His voice
and to follow Him.
Who else knows us as He does,
or is willing to lay down his life for us?


The psalm recalls for us
the paschal mystery of Christ,
who is crucified, resurrected,
and then exalted as the capstone of our faith.
God has shown his love for his people --
Jesus’ risen presence among us
is living proof of God’s enduring love.
Our psalmist confirms this, “God’s love endures forever.”
The Lord’s deliverance is cause for joy.
God’s love is empowering, as the psalm suggests,
This is how we pass from death to life.


We may not have been
one of those who saw Christ
after He rose from the dead,
but He is no less real to us.
There is no doubt that
God's divine intervention
was at work in Christ’s resurrection. 
As the psalmist says, we know that,
“By the Lord has this been done,
it is wonderful in our eyes.”



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist reminds us more than once to trust God,
not mortals or princes.   Even though you may not have seen
the Lord in person, do you have any difficulty trusting in one
you have not seen?   Explain.

2.  The Psalm says, 'Blessed is he who comes
in the name of the Lord.'   This verse is used
in scripture to welcome Jesus.   Discuss how you
have welcomed Jesus into your life.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, April 19, 2015


Psalm 4:  2, 4, 7-8, 9  (Read)

“The Lord does wonders for his faithful one.”               


This Sunday's Psalm is about trust in God.  Our psalmist David 
is filled with desire for God's mercy, and invites us to pray,
“When I call, answer me; O my just God, hear my prayer.”
David reminds us the Lord works wonders for the faithful,
“The Lord does wonders for his faithful one.”

Part of keeping our faith must surely be keeping our Lord’s 

commandments, as we are reminded to do in this Sunday's
second reading, “Whoever keeps his word, the love of God 
is truly perfected in him.” (1 John 2:5)
What more could we ask for?  Is it necessary that the risen 

Jesus show us his hands and feet, or that we touch his flesh
and bones as in Sunday's Gospel? (Luke 24:39-40)

Our psalmist reminds us it is inside our hearts where 

the Lord’s presence does the most good.
“You put gladness into my heart.”
If our hearts are made clean, and our sins are forgiven
by the Easter sacrifice and resurrection of God’s only son,
who or what can stand in our way?

What the Lord Jesus has done for us will give rise to 

action on our part.  For just as the disciples were witnesses
of what came to pass more than 2000 years ago,
so too are we called to witness for the Lord.
We are called to keep His word,
and to open our minds, so that we too can
better understand the scriptures.
We ask the Lord, “Let your face shine on us.”
And then we must go about doing His work!

Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalm Response this week is, "Lord, let your face shine on us."  
What does it mean to you the have the 'light of His countenance' shine 

upon you?

2.  Our psalmist repeatedly petitions the Lord to answer him and 

to hear him.   Have you also prayed as David did for the Lord to hear 
your prayer?   What has been the result?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, April 12, 2015

Psalm 118:  2-4, 13-15, 22-24  (Read)

“By the Lord has this been done;                                                                                              

it is wonderful in our eyes.”

Once again we visit this powerful psalm
of praise and thanksgiving. This time the 
verses stress the enduring love that God 
has for us – so much so that despite the 
part we played in crucifying his Son,
God went ahead and carried out His plan 

to save us.  Jesus’ risen presence among us
is living proof of God’s enduring love.
“God’s love endures forever.”

We may be 'hard pressed and falling,' but the 

Lord comes to our help.  As the psalmist says, 
the Lord is our strength.  He is present to us,  
just as He was in those early days of the church
described by St Luke in this Sunday's first 

reading (Acts 4:33), and in Sunday's Gospel 
(John 20:19-23).

We may not have the awesome experience that 

St Thomas had when he physically put his hand into 
the Lord’s side and his fingers into the nail marks on 
Jesus' hand, but our Savior is with us.

“The Lord has become my savior.”  We are victorious 

over death.  The Lord’s deliverance is cause for joy.
Just when we were down, the Lord raises us up.
“I was hard pressed and falling, but the Lord came to my help.”

“The joyful shout of victory is heard.”  We are on firm ground 

after all –  Christ has become our cornerstone, as our psalmist 
reminds us.  Christ has become a source of strength for us,
despite His apparent weakness that day on the cross,
when He died a shameful death. 

Only the Lord could have done this remarkable thing:
“By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.”
This is cause for rejoicing -- “This is the day the Lord has made.”
Along with the disciples and the early church,
“Let us be glad and rejoice in it.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist praises the Lord because the stone that was rejected 
has become our cornerstone.  Why do you think God would permit his Son 
to undergo a shameful death in order to make Jesus the cornerstone of our faith?

2.  Our psalm begins by stressing over and over that the mercy of God endures 

forever, and this Sunday's Response also says, 'His love is everlasting.'  Describe 
how these verses strengthen your faith and inspire you to trust in the Lord.