Monday, May 30, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, June 5, 2016


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

“I praise you Lord, for you 
raised me up; you let me live.”
God did not make death, nor 
does He rejoice at the destruction 
of the living. His divine favor lasts 
a lifetime.

In the words of our psalmist, we too,
by the grace of God, 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.  “God's anger lasts but a 
moment; His favor lasts a lifetime.”

Our Lord Jesus himself was raised up
from the pit by the Father, even though
He bore the weight of our sins.  
God’s anger 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 Jesus. 
“At nightfall, weeping enters in, but with 
the dawn there is 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 tells us that God's anger lasts but a moment, while His 
favor lasts a lifetime.  Tell of how you have been rebuked by the Lord, 
and following repentance, how you have received His grace.  

2.  The Psalm is about being rescued by the Lord and how God lifts us 
out of the pit.  Speak of how you have been saved by the Lord and brought 
up from a sinful existence.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, May 29, 2016


“The Lord said to my Lord: 'Sit at my right 
hand till I make your enemies your footstool.'”

Our psalmist David speaks of the Messiah 
who is to come.   For us, the psalm is about 
the anointing of Jesus as our Savior, Jesus 
as the everlasting King and Priest.  Christ 
will take his throne at the right hand of God, 
as our psalmist predicts.  Christ will make 
his enemies his footstool.  He is able to do 
this because the Father has empowered
Him to rule over his enemies.

And how does Christ's victory affect us 
earthly humans?  The truth is that we too are 
in the midst of the same spiritual battle that 
Christ has already fought.   And his victory 
means for us that we can be victors as well 
victors, not victims.  And for that, we praise
God and give thanks to our King.

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of 
the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ  (Corpus 
Christi).  How is it that Jesus, anointed as the 
everlasting King and Priest, humbled himself to 
pour out his blood on the cross for us common 
sinners?  How is it that such a mighty King is 
willing to co-mingle his very flesh and blood with 
our own fallen flesh and blood?  All we can know 
is that God's plan intends that his perfect divine 
presence enters into our fallen, human presence 
and offers healing, wisdom, salvation,and hope. 
(Word Among Us)

How blessed we are that although we are not worthy
to receive Him, He gives us angels' food, bread from
heaven – “He fed them with the finest wheat and 
satisfied them with honey from the rock.” (Ps 81:17)

Our Lord is both shepherd and lamb to us, his well 
tended flock. As the Paschal lamb, He spilled his 
lifeblood for us, feeding us as God sent manna to
our spiritual fathers.  “Very bread, good shepherd, 
tend us, Jesus, You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow.”  
(Sequence, Laud, O Zion)

How remarkable that our Lord, though seated
at the right hand of the Father, comes down from
heaven so that we sinners might have a share in 
his divinity. “I am the living bread that came down
from heaven, says the Lord; whoever eats this bread
will live forever.” (Jn 6:51)

We are inspired to offer our prayers of thanksgiving
to our Lord --

“Grant O Lord, we pray,
that we may delight for all eternity
in that share in your divine life,
which is foreshadowed in the present age
by our reception of your precious Body and Blood.”
(Order of Mass, Prayer after Communion)


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm speaks of the anointing of Jesus as our Savior,
who will rule 
in the midst of His enemies.  Tell of how you have relied on our Savior to fight 
your spiritual enemies on your behalf.

2.  With our Lord so powerful and seated at the right hand of the Father,
does it 
surprise you that He would come down from heaven to mingle His precious body 
and blood with our human flesh and blood?  Explain

Monday, May 16, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, May 22, 2016


“What is man that you are mindful 
of him?  Yet you have made him 
little less than a god.”

Why did our Creator give us life?
Why are we given rule over God's 
works, and why did He put all things 
under our feet?  These age old 
questions are raised again by our 
psalmist, David, who is awed that 
God has made us so much like 
heavenly beings.

It is clear that we are made in the 
image of God, and we are His children. 
As the voice of Wisdom tells us, in 
Sunday's first reading, God takes delight 
in his children.  (Proverbs 8:31)
And St Paul, in the second reading,
reminds us that the Love of God has 
been poured out into our hearts through 
the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
(Romans 5:5) 
God dwells within us that we might have 
a share in His divinity.

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the
Holy Trinity.  Having been baptized in the Spirit, 
we are able to experience the divine Trinity within 
us.  It is said that we shall feel a resemblance to 
God in our souls.  'It is in the most secret recesses 
of the soul that God is known, in which he acts and 
exists. God is one with us; we can no more separate 
ourselves from God than from our own selves.' 
(Father John Tauler)

The Catechism teaches that God has destined us
to share in the exchange of love among the Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit.  'Man's living area is broadened 
and raised up to the supernatural level of divine life.' 
(Blessed John Paul II)

'The Father has sent the Spirit into our hearts so that 
we cry 'Abba, Father.'  God is nearer to us than we are 
to ourselves through the divine indwelling.' (Magnificat).

Believing this is so, then we should be devoted to 
bearing fruit and lifting up our brothers and sisters, 
fulfilling the gifts of the Spirit that have been given to us.
If we do that, God will truly be pleased, and what better 
way is there to praise Him than by doing His work. 
As our psalmist says,O Lord, our God, how wonderful
your name in all the earth!” 

Discussion Questions for Reflection   
1.  Our Psalmist says that we are made 'little less than the angels,
and crowned with glory and honor.'   As a child of God, speak of how 
you are doing the work of the Lord and how you know He takes pleasure 
in what you do.

2.  The Psalm tells us that the Lord has given us humans dominion over 
all the beasts of the field ... and whatever swims the paths of the seas.'  
We know also that the earth was designed to be lived in.   What are you 
doing to be a good steward over the 'works of His hands?'

Monday, May 9, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, May 15, 2016


Psalm 104: 1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34  (Read)

“When you send forth your spirit, 
they are created.”

Animated by the Spirit, the divine 
breath, we who are His creatures 
sing of the glory of our Creator.  
Our psalmist affirms, “When you 
send forth your Spirit, you renew 
the face of the earth.”  

God our Creator is the source of 
all natural life. So also the Holy Spirit 
is the source of all supernatural life. 
We are nothing without the divine 
breath -- “If you take away their breath,
they perish and return to their dust.”

It is this same creative breath that came
down on the disciples in that locked room
St Luke speaks of in today's first reading.
(Acts 2:1-4)
The Holy Spirit empowered the disciples
to go forth and proclaim the Gospel boldly
to men of all nations, speaking different tongues.

We too are called to be baptized in the Spirit,
and to receive the divine breath of the Lord.
Having been baptized in the Spirit, we are a
new creation, and are called to glorify the Lord
in what we do. In this way, as the Psalm says,
“May the Lord be glad in his works.”

Fortunately for us too, the Spirit is manifested
in each of us for some benefit, as St. Paul 
reminds us in today's second reading. 
(1 Corinthians 12:7)
All we have to do is accept Christ and 
believe in Him.

Without the breath of the Holy Spirit, we have
no spiritual life. But thanks to God's gift,
we are a new creation; we are baptized into  
Christ, and we share in the divinity of our Lord.
And that alone gives us reason to praise God.
As our psalmist says, “Pleasing to Him be my 
theme; I will be glad in the Lord.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection
1.  As in our Psalm, do you also feel the presence of the 'divine breath' 
in your spiritual life?  Speak of how the Holy Spirit is at work in your life.

2.  Our psalmist says that the Spirit of the Lord 'renews the face of the earth.'   
Tell of how you are a new creation, after having been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, May 8, 2016


“God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy.”


This week we celebrate the Ascension of
our Lord, who was taken up to heaven
to be seated at the right hand of the Father,
far above every principality, with authority
over every nation, as our 2nd reading tells us.
(Ephesians 1: 20-22)
With such an awesome God on his throne,
what hope do we have as mere human beings
that we will ever be able to approach Him?
How far above us can this Jesus be, if He is
taken up to heaven and has all things put
beneath his feet?

Power is often associated with arrogance and
brutal treatment, but our God uses his power
to work miracles, and bring about healing.
And his power is expressed by his love, by
which we are raised up with Jesus. He is risen,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father
in heaven. Knowing this, “We shout with joy,
and we praise Him,” as our psalmist says.

Though He has ascended, fortunately Jesus
leaves with us a way to share in his divinity,
through the Holy Spirit which he gives to us.
His power and presence remain within us,
so long as we repent from our sins and believe 
in Him.

After Jesus' Ascension, the disciples began their
active ministry, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
That same power is given to us – we too are called
to ministry, to go into the world and proclaim 
the Gospel!  And for that we are inspired to praise 
the Lord; as the psalmist says, “Clap your hands, 
shout to God with cries of gladness; sing praise to God!”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  As per the Psalm and the readings this week, our Lord has been 
raised up so high above us.  How do you reach Him, how do you build 
a personal relationship with Him?

2.  The psalmist encourages us to clap our hands, and shout to God with cries 
of gladness, because God mounts His throne.  Speak of how you are raised up 
with our Lord Jesus, as He ascends to sit at the right hand of the Father.