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.