Monday, June 29, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, July 5, 2015


Psalm 123:  1-2, 2, 3-4  (Read)

“Our eyes are fixed on the Lord.”

We are called to serve God and to do  
His will, as Jesus did.  And so our eyes  
must be on God, that we may know His 
will for us, and that we may serve Him 
and our neighbor as well.

Where else would we turn?
To be measured by men?
To get direction from anyone else?
Like the prophet Ezekiel, our success is 

measured by doing God’s will and
following His direction in our
lives. (Ezekiel 2: 2-5)

Our psalmist says, “We have our fill of contempt;
we have our fill of insult from the proud.”
For it is the arrogant ones who rely only on

themselves, giving little thought to God.

Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus was not 

respected in his home town; he was rejected
by his townspeople and neighbors. (Mark 6: 4-5)

Is that what we face from family or friends,
when we do the Lord’s work or proclaim his 

Gospel?  If so, then we are united with Christ,
and like St Paul, we can be content with insults,
hardships, persecutions and constraints.
The Lord's grace is sufficient for
us.  (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10)


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist calls for us to fix our eyes on the Lord. 
Describe how you focus on the Lord in your faith journey.
Tell how you are able to discern God's will for your life.

2.   Our psalmist says he is fed up, having been the object 

of contempt and mockery from the arrogant ones around him.
Even Jesus was mocked in his native village.  Tell of how you 

deal with insult and persecution when you proclaim the Gospel.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, June 28, 2015


Psalm 30:  2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13  (Read)

"I praise you Lord, for you raise me up;
you kept me from going down into the pit.”

God is in the business of healing, as our 
first reading says. (Wisdom 1:13)
God did not make death, nor does He rejoice
in the destruction of the living.
“His divine favor lasts a lifetime.”
Just as Jairus' daughter is saved from death
in this Sunday's Gospel (Mark 5:41-42),
we too are able to be saved from going down 

into the pit.  We too are eligible for a spiritual 
resurrection if our faith is strong.

We may be rebuked by God for disobeying Him.
We are, after all, his wayward children,
and He loves us as a Father loves his own.
God's compassion and mercy are with us not 

only in this life, but in eternity.  “Divine anger lasts
but a moment; divine favor lasts a lifetime.”

Our Lord Jesus himself was raised up from the pit

by the Father, even though Jesus bore the weight 
of our sins.  God’s anger over the sins of all men
that Christ took upon himself, lasted but a moment.

The joy of resurrection comes to us at dawn, after a

terrible night, as it came to those early followers of
our Savior.  “At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.”  And that alone is reason 

enough to change our “mourning into dancing,”
“to clothe us with gladness.”   We are prompted
to “sing endless praise to the Lord.”
“O Lord, my God, forever will I give you thanks.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist praises God for having rescued him and brought 

him 'up from the netherworld.'   Tell about how you have been saved 
from your enemies, the devil and his companions.

2.  The Psalm says that the anger of the Lord lasts but a moment.   

Have you been rebuked by the Lord? If so, what did you learn from this, 
and in what way are you grateful for being corrected by the Lord?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, June 21, 2015


Psalm 107:  23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31  (Read)

“The Lord hushed the storm to a gentle breeze, 
and the billows of the sea were stilled.”


In the Psalm God saves the afflicted from the storms of life. 
And in this Sunday's 1st reading,  the Lord addresses Job 
out of the storm and reminds him that God alone can say,
“Here shall your proud waves be stilled!” (Job 38:11)

In today's Gospel,  Jesus saves the disciples from their storms 

of doubt that day on the Sea of Galilee.  (Gospel, Mark 4:39)   
The disciples were like those described in the Psalm:  
“Some went off to sea in ships; they saw the 

works of the Lord, the wonders of God in the deep.”

When we are facing the storms of life, where do we 

turn to be delivered from our distress?  We cry out 
to the Lord, as the Psalm says, “In their distress, they 
cried out to the Lord, who brought them out of their peril,
and stilled the waves of the sea.”

Storms at sea were a constant threat to the disciples, 

several of whom made their living as fishermen.    
In today's Gospel, the disciples are filled with awe and 
say to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind 
and sea obey?” (Mark 4:41)

That same power that delivered the disciples from the 

storm that day on the Sea of Galilee is available to us,
to strengthen us as we trade in deep waters and are 

tossed about.

We all rejoice when we are saved by the Lord.
As the psalmist says, “They rejoiced that the sea grew calm,
that God brought them to the harbor they longed for.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  In the Psalm the Lord hushed the storm and saved those
who sailed the sea.  Describe how God has intervened in your 

life and saved you from distress.

2.  Our psalmist says that God brought those sailors to the
harbor they longed for after the sea grew calm.   Tell how our Lord
has brought fair winds and following seas to your life and given you
the direction you desire.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, June 14, 2015

Reflections (by J Kim)

Psalm 92: 2-3, 13-14, 15-16  (Read)

"Lord, it is good to give thanks to you."

Displaying an attitude of gratitude.  Sending a 
thank-you note.  Saying your "please and 
thank you’s.”   Such are lessons we teach our 
children as we train them in what is socially proper.  If only we would spend as much time considering what is proper in the spiritual sense.

God our Creator is all-deserving and worthy of our praise. 
A well-known prayer guide pinpoints five essential elements 

of prayer.  Adoration, Confession, Petition, and Intercession,
are ALWAYS followed by Thanksgiving.  Psalm 92:1 is often 

quoted in support:  "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, 
to sing praise to your name, Most High."

Also to be noted is the use of the word "sing" in that first verse.
The Lord loves to hear our voices in song.  Thus, hymns of any 

sort are an integral part of worship.  Something about singing 
focuses our hearts on Jesus and softens his heart to accept 
our prayerful pleas.

Our Abba Father gives us our days in 24 hour increments.
Could we handle any more?  His grace is enough for each day;
the psalmist writes, "It is good to proclaim your kindness at dawn
and your faithfulness throughout the night."

The cedar of Lebanon is a mighty and beautiful tree referenced
throughout Scripture.  In this Sunday's first reading, a small cedar 

shoot is replanted and compared to a "majestic cedar" as it grows 
strong with its roots  firmly planted. (Ezekiel 17:22-23)  The Psalm 
says, “The just one shall flourish like the palm tree, like a cedar of 
Lebanon shall he grow."

Later, the psalmist writes, "They shall bear fruit even in old age;
vigorous and sturdy shall they be."  Living in a righteous manner, 

with the foundations of our beliefs firmly rooted, we too are called
to have the strength and fruitfulness of the cedar, even unto the
very end of our earthly lives. 


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  "Lord, you are holy indeed.  It is right to give you thanks and praise."
These are familiar words to any Mass-goer.   How do you sincerely give thanks
to the Lord in your daily life?

2.  How can you become more like the upright palm tree or the majestic and 

firmly-rooted Lebanese cedar?  Do others see you as a just and righteous person
through your everyday speech and actions?  What can you change about 

yourself so that you, too, can "bear fruit even in old age?"   

Monday, June 1, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, June 7, 2015

Psalm 116: 12-13, 15-16, 17-18  (Read)

“I will take the cup of salvation and call on 

the name of the Lord.”

This saving cup is the same cup that we share
each time we participate in the Liturgy of the 

Eucharist.  It is the cup of the blood that Jesus 
shed to mark the new covenant with people 
of faith.

We  are saved by Christ; He is the divine victim.
Our psalmist asks, “How can I repay the Lord
for all the good He has done for me?”

The Psalm affirms, “Precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful ones.”  What could be more 

costly than the death of God’s only son?  Yet God 
consented to the death of his Son because of his love 
for us; God did not spare Him.  Once again we ask,
“How can I repay the Lord for all the good He has done 

for me?”

Certainly we are all obliged to pay our vows to the Lord,
to give Him praise, to obey his commandments, and to do 

his will.  As the Psalm says, “My vows to the Lord I will pay
in the presence of all his people.”

We are to praise Him and worship Him in the presence 

of the community.   It is not just between us and God.  
We are part of a community, and we are to acknowledge 

Him and bow down to Him publicly.   And we are to proclaim 
the Gospel!

Our psalmist says, “O Lord, I am your servant, you have 

loosed my bonds.”  We are made free by becoming the 
Lord's servant.  That is how it is when we follow his 
commandments and do his will.  It is not something that 
binds us.  Rather, it is something that sets us free.
We take delight in serving the Lord.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmists asks, "How can I repay the Lord for all the good He has done for me?"
Explain how you would answer this question.

2.  When you "take the cup of salvation," do you receive our Lord's saving power?
Say how you respond when you eat His body and drink His blood.