Monday, April 25, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, May 1, 2016


“May God be gracious to us 
and bless us; may God's face 
shine upon us.”

So much that God does for us is 
contained in this opening verse of 
the Psalm.  God gives us his grace 
through his son Jesus, who is our 
Savior.  And we all want God’s 
blessings, as the Psalm says. 
Since the time of Moses, God’s 
chosen people have reached out 
for God’s blessings.

God gives us material blessings –
all our treasure and gifts are from 
Him.  And thankfully, He gives us 
spiritual blessings as well – 
as St Paul tells us, to each individual
the manifestation of the spirit is given 
for some benefit. (1Corinthians 12:7)

No wonder that we Gentiles were 
attracted to the faith, when St Paul 
and St Barnabas were traveling 
through the towns and visiting
the early churches.

And what could be better than 
to have God's face shine upon us, 
as the psalmist says. We have a hint 
of what the radiance of God's face 
may be like in Sunday's 2nd reading, 
where St John speaks of the light of 
God's glory that shines in the
city of heaven. (Revelation 21:11)

By ministering to the Gentiles, 
the 'way' of the Lord became known
upon earth among all the nations, 
as the Psalm says. Indeed the
Psalm predicts that God’s saving 
power shall be known among all 
the peoples. Thankfully,
that includes us.

Today we join with our psalmist 
and the members of the early 
church in praising God –
“May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist asks that God will let His face shine upon us.   
Tell of how you have felt the radiance of God when He is present to you.

2.  The Psalm prays that the Lord's 'way' be known among
all nations.   
What have you done personally to encourage others to follow the 'way' of the Lord? 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, April 24, 2016


“The Lord is good to all and
compassionate toward all his works.”

When we reflect on what God has
done for us, we remember that God
has always done good things for us.
That is God's nature. As the Psalm
says, “The Lord is gracious and
merciful and of great kindness.”
And so we pray this psalm to bless,
praise, and exalt the heavenly Father
in his perfection and in his works.

Our psalmist dwells on the everlasting
nature of God, on his love and presence
throughout all time, and we are called
to praise the Lord forever. Our psalmist
reminds us, “The Lord is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.”
We know this inherently because we live
our lives with an unending stream of
divine love.

There are times when we may question
why God allows us to suffer, why He allows
“bad things to happen to good people.”
We may ask, as the early believers probably did,
“Why is it necessary to undergo such hardships
to enter the kingdom of God?” (See Acts 14:22)

Afflictions go hand in hand in our walk
with the Lord. We may not understand
what God is up to, but we can be sure that
our faith will be strengthened if we stand
fast in the face of suffering. We will become
better witnesses for Christ as we are humbled.
We become better servants if we bear up
with our difficulties and trust in the Lord,
as our psalmist tells us.

Endurance is a Godly quality and will help
us to get 'yoked' to Jesus. Having done that,
we, like our psalmist David, join with the
faithful and speak of the glory of God's reign
and bless His name.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.   The Psalm says, 'Let all your works give you
thanks, O Lord.'    Are you one of His works?   Tell
of how you give thanks to the Lord and bless Him
as one of His faithful ones.

2.   Our psalmist speaks of the everlasting nature of
God's divine love.   Describe how God's love has helped
you to overcome hardship and get 'yoked' to Jesus.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, April 17, 2016


Psalm 100:1-2, 3, 5  (Read)

"We are God's people,
the sheep of his flock."

The Psalm begins with a call for us
to 'sing joyfully to the Lord.'  That
same joyful spirit filled St Paul and
his companions when they began
their ministry to the Gentiles that 
day in Antioch. (Acts 13:14, 43-52)
And their ministry has become our 
ministry – as our psalmist says, 
we are called to 'worship the Lord 
with cries of gladness; come before 
Him with joyful song.'

But after all, we are like sheep, and 
we need someone to look after us 
so that we don't go astray.  What 
could be better than to have Jesus
as our Good Shepherd?  We are his 
lambs; we hear his voice; He knows 
us; and we follow Him.

As our psalmist says, we belong to God.
And God has given us to his Son. No one
can take us out of his hand, as Jesus tells 
us in today's Gospel. (John 10:27-30)
We are a well tended flock indeed.

As our Lord's sheep, we hear his voice, 
we follow Him, and we praise Him because,
'Good indeed is the Lord, his love endures 
forever, his faithfulness lasts through every 


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  There is something comforting about being shepherded by
our Lord Jesus.  Our psalmist says we are 'the flock He tends.'
Speak of how you feel to be one of His sheep.

2.  The Psalm tells us to 'serve the Lord with gladness.'   Give an
example of how you are serving Him with a joyful spirit.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, April 10, 2016


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

“I praise you, Lord, 
 for you raised me up.”

This is a Psalm that Jesus himself 
might have prayed, following his 
resurrection: “I praise you, Lord, 
for you raised me up and did not 
let my enemies rejoice over me.”

Our Lord Jesus was raised up
from the pit by the Father, even 
though He bore the weight of our 
sins.  “Lord you brought me up 
from the netherworld; you let me 
live, from going down to the pit.”

God’s anger over the sins of all men,
that Christ took upon himself, lasted
but a moment -- “Divine anger lasts
but a moment; divine favor lasts 
a lifetime.”

The Psalm speaks to us as we take part
in the joy of Easter. The joy of the resurrection
comes to us at dawn, after a terrible night,
as it came to those early followers of Jesus.
“At nightfall, weeping enters in, but with the
dawn, rejoicing.” And that alone is reason 
enough to change our mourning into dancing.

The Psalm concludes with praise that is
worthy of the Lamb, and recalls for us the
voices of the angels that St John speaks of in
today's 2nd reading from Revelation 5:11-12,
“O Lord, my God, forever will I give you thanks.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection
1.  Our psalmist says that God's anger lasts but a moment, while His favor 
lasts a lifetime.   Give an example of how you have been blessed by God's 
favor after having fallen away for a time.

2.  The Psalm speaks of changing our mourning into dancing.   Tell of how the 
resurrection of our Lord has lifted you up and brought within you a rejoicing of the spirit.