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.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Psalm for Sunday, September 13, 2015


Psalm 116:  1-2, 3-4, 5-6. 8-9  (Read)

“He has freed my soul from death.”

It is said that Jesus called out this prayer 

on the night He was betrayed, and went 
to His death with these words on His lips.

The psalm is a simple prayer of thanks to 

God that the psalmist might have used after 
escape from the “snares of the netherworld,” 
as he called upon God, “O Lord save my life!”

But unlike the psalmist, our Savior does not 

ask to escape death; instead He begins to
teach the disciples that the Son of Man must 
suffer greatly and be killed.  Jesus summons 
the crowd and begins to preach on the redemptive
value of His death, saying that 'whoever loses his 

life for my sake will save it.' (Gospel, Mark 8: 31-35)

Having become the prayer of Our Lord on the night 

of his Passion, the Psalm says to us believers that 
there is hope, that we too will “walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.”

In Sunday's first reading, the prophet Isaiah reminds 

us that the suffering servant is not disgraced, is not 
put to shame.(Isaiah 50:7)  It is that same spirit of 
defiance in the face of death that empowers the 
suffering servant to set his face like flint, knowing
that the Lord God is his help.

Because we are little and “brought low,” we depend 

on our God to “incline His ear” to us when we call.  
We cannot raise up ourselves; we are at the mercy 
of God's grace.  We cannot become divine, and 
therefore God in His love for us became like us
and inclined Himself to our humanity

For this we are grateful, and we join with the 

psalmist who celebrates as we do, “For the Lord 
has freed my soul from death.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist says that the "Lord has freed my soul from death."  Speak about 

how the Lord has worked in your life to give you hope that you are saved and raised 
you up away from the "cords of death."

2.  The Psalm says, "The Lord keeps the little ones."  Are you one of His 'little ones?'   

Explain how by humbling yourself you have a better chance of being pleasing in the 
eyes of God.