Monday, January 25, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, January 31, 2016


Psalm 71: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15-17  (Read) 

“O my God, rescue me from 

the hand of the wicked.”

This Psalm is known as a
prayer in the evening of life.
The psalmist looks back,
recalls how he has tried
to remain faithful to God,
his life’s companion.
“You are my hope, Lord;
my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend since birth;
from my mother’s womb
you are my strength.”

In the difficult moments of
old age, the psalmist begs God
to come to his aid, and resolves
to praise God with all his might.
“My mouth shall proclaim your
just deeds, day after day your acts
of deliverance.”

The Psalm recalls for us the words
of the prophet Jeremiah, who says,
“Before I formed you in the womb
I dedicated you, a prophet
I appointed you.”   Jeremiah draws
strength from the Lord; God makes him
a “fortified city, a pillar of iron.”
(Jeremiah 1:5, 18)

And in the Psalm the writer pleads
with God, “Be my rock and refuge;
my stronghold to give me safety;
for you are my rock and fortress.”
In Jeremiah’s struggle against kings
and priests, he obtains assurances that
the Lord is with him to deliver him.
The Psalmist seeks the same guarantee
from God – “In your justice rescue and
deliver me.”

In today's Gospel, our Lord Jesus
was able to pass through the midst of 

the angry crowd that threatened him 
that day in Nazareth. (Luke 4:30)
Our psalmist too is threatened
by an adversary and petitions God,
“My God, rescue me from the power
of the wicked, from the clutches of the
evil and violent.”

And for us too, the source of our
ability to weather those spiritual trials
that we face in our own lives comes
from God our Father.  His works are mighty,
and His justice is available for the asking,
“I will speak of the mighty works of the Lord;
O God, I will tell of your singular justice.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist says that from his mother's womb God was his strength. 

Describe how you as a child of God derive strength and hope from the Lord.

2.  The psalmist cries out to God to rescue him 'from the hand of the wicked, 

from the clutches of the evil and violent.'  Speak of how you have been
delivered by the Lord from the clutches of the evil one.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, January 24, 2016


Psalm 19:  8, 9, 10, 15  (Read)

“Let the words of my mouth meet with your favor,  O Lord.” 


Where does the power come from to keep us on track, 
to speak the right words, think the right thoughts?
It comes from the Lord, our rock and redeemer.  

And how does it come to us?  It comes through 
the Word, the inspired Word of God.

It is through the Word that we know His commandments, 

and through this Psalm that we know His law is a source
of refreshment, a source of joy.  When we follow the 

Lord’s commands, there is a joy that is stirred up in 
our hearts.  “The precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart.”

His statutes do not bind us, they set us free.  As in 

the days of Ezra, the reading of the law should not 
make us sad, but be a source of rejoicing. 
(Nehemiah 8:9-10)

If we are to imitate the divine life, everything we need 

to know is found in God’s law.  The Word is the source 
of wisdom; it is where power is found.  And it is where 
the statutes of God are spelled out.

The Lord's statutes serve as our instruction manual 

for life.  But they are not just a dry set of rules that 
we cannot hope to follow; God's commandments 
refresh our souls.

The Word and the statutes endure forever.  

They are refreshing to the soul.
They enlighten the eye.
And they bring much reward.
As Christ says in today's Gospel,
scripture is fulfilled in our hearing.  (Luke 4:21)
Give us ears to hear!


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalm response this Sunday is 'Your words, Lord,
are Spirit and life.'  In what way are you impacted along
your faith journey by the words of our Lord?

2.  Speak of how the Lord's commandments are useful in
carrying out the prayer of our psalmist, 'Let the words of my
mouth and the thoughts of my heart find favor before you.'

Monday, January 11, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, January 17, 2016


Psalm 96:  1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10  (Read)

“Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all 

the nations!”

Today's psalm is a song of Israel, the 

chosen people, brought back from exile.  
Their joy and praise is understandable.   
The prophet Isaiah says that God calls 
them, “His Delight, His Espoused.” 
(Isaiah 62:4)  
No wonder they want to “Sing to the 
Lord a new song,” and tell of God’s 
glory and His marvelous deeds.

We are all summoned to adoration of 

our sovereign God.  We are called to 
give Him 'glory and praise,' as our 
psalmist says.   And we are called 
to bring gifts as we enter His courts.

But no matter how precious our own 

offerings may be, they are no match 
for the gifts of the Spirit that each of us 
receives, and which St Paul speaks 
about in this Sunday's second reading.  
Each of us receives these spiritual gifts 
individually, and they are given through 
the Spirit to us for 'some benefit.'  
(1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

In this Sunday's Gospel our Lord Jesus 

uses His marvelous gifts to turn water 
into wine at the wedding in Cana and so 
reveals His glory. (John 2:1-11)
Even today the Lord provides real food 

and real drink for us, in the Eucharist.  
What better nourishment could there be 
in our lives?  As the psalm says, we are 
called to be grateful and, “Give to the Lord 
the glory due His name,” to bow down 
to the Lord, and to tremble before Him.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist encourages us to, 'Sing to the Lord a new song."
What is it about your faith that makes you want to sing praise to the Lord?

2.  The Psalm urges us to, 'Proclaim His marvelous deeds to all the nations.'  

How will you go about proclaiming the Gospel to those around you in your family 
and your community?


Monday, January 4, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, January 10, 2016


Psalm 29:  1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10  (Read)

“The God of glory thunders.”

The Psalm is about the splendor and the 

power of God.  “Give to the Lord the glory 
due God’s name.  Bow down before the 
Lord’s holy splendor.”  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.”

God's awesome voice was heard over the 

Jordan River that day when the heavens 
were torn open and the Holy Spirit descended 
upon Jesus just after He was baptized.  What 
could be more powerful than the voice of God 
declaring, “This is my beloved Son, with whom 
I am well pleased.” (Gospel, Luke 3:22)

What happened at the Jordan River that day 

was to fulfill what God 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 baptism of our Lord may have happened 

over 2000 years ago, but on that day God 
anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power, 
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).  (Isaiah 42:6-7)
And imitating Jesus, we are to bring out 

prisoners from confinement (those who may 
be imprisoned by sin).  What better way 
would there be for us to serve the Lord?


 Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm's verses speak of the power and splendor of the voice 

of the Lord, thundering over the waters.   Have you heard God's powerful 
voice speaking to you, anointing you as one of His chosen ones? 

2.  Our psalmist 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.