Monday, June 27, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, July 3, 2016


“Hear now, while I declare what He has done for me.”


The Psalm celebrates the awesome 
power of God, manifest in 'His tremendous 
deeds among the children of Adam.' 
Our psalmist recalls the dividing of the 
Red Sea, which delivered Israel from 
the Egyptians, through the favor of God. 
That same awesome power that split 
the Red Sea became available to the
early apostles of the Church, as they 
went about healing and doing signs 
and wonders.

Where does the power come from to heal 
the lame and drive out unclean spirits? 
It comes from the Holy Spirit, who empowers 
each of us to become a healing force within 
our family and our community. No wonder 
those early believers were eager to go forth 
into the towns and become laborers for His 
harvest, and to rejoice because their names 
were written in heaven.

We too cannot help but sing praise to God 
when we feel His presence within us. We 
proclaim His glorious praise, and we on earth 
worship Him, as our psalmist says.
We want all to know what God has done for us,
so we 'cry out to God with joy.'


Discussion Questions for Reflection
1.  Our Psalmist invites us, "Come and see the works of God."  
Give an example of the awesome power of God in your life.

2.  The verses of the psalm say, "Blessed be God who refused me not."   
Tell of how the Lord has answered your plea and your prayer.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, June 26, 2016


Psalm 16: 1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11  (Read)

“With the Lord at my right hand,
I shall never be shaken.”

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 distress that afflicts us from time
to time when we feel separated from God
is overcome – “For you will not abandon
my soul to the netherworld, nor let your
faithful servant see the pit.”

We can understand the Psalm's
verses as a prophecy of the resurrection
of Christ, 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.”

These same verses are quoted by
St Peter in his speech to the Israelites
at Pentecost. (Acts 2:25-28)
St Peter uses the Psalm
as a prophecy that Jesus is to be
raised up and will sit at the right
hand of the Father. 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.  
“Therefore my heart is glad and my soul 
rejoices; my body, too, abides in confidence.”

Our burdens are made light;
His yoke is easy, and that gladdens the heart
and strengthens the body.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalmist speaks confidently about his belief in
an everlasting life with God.   
Speak of how you are confident about being raised up with the Lord and spending  
eternity in His presence.

2.  David says, "My Lord, you are my allotted portion
and my cup."  Explain what 
these words mean to you.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, June 19, 2016


“My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.”

This prayer of longing was written at a 
time when David was in the desert, a place 
where physical thirst was all around him 
and the earth was parched, lifeless and 
without water.  But David is writing also 
about a spiritual thirst that overwhelms 
him and reminds him of the emptiness 
of life without God.

David meditates on those happier moments 
when he was close to the Lord, when his 
soul was satisfied as with the riches of a 
banquet, and when he took shelter in the 
shadow of the wings of God.

We too go through times of spiritual deprivation
when we walk away from God and indulge in
sinful practices that separate us from God.
At those times, like a penitent sinner, we
experience our deepest longing for the love of
the Lord, and we seek out his loving embrace.
As our psalmist says, at times like that our soul
clings fast to the Lord, we bless him, we glorify him,
we praise him.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist seeks the Lord because his soul thirsts for Him. 
Give an example of a time when you have hungered for God's presence 
and blessing in your life.

2.  The Psalm speaks of gazing toward the Lord in the sanctuary.
Tell of a time when you have gazed at the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament
Chapel of your parish and how you could see His power and His glory.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Psalm for Sunday, June 12, 2016


Psalm 32: 1-2, 5, 7, 11  (Read)

“Then I declared my sin to you, and
you took away the guilt of my sin.”


A simple act of confession, which sometimes
is so difficult for us, is how we get rid of the
torment in our lives that is a consequence of
unconfessed sin. We all know the peace that
we obtain when we receive the Sacrament of
Reconciliation, when our burden of guilt is lifted.
We are convicted of sin, as was our psalmist
King David, whose sins against Uriah resulted 
in horrible consequences for David's family.  
(First reading, 2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13)

We may not be able to avoid the consequences
of sin, but we can lift up the burden of sin and
give it to Jesus, our Savior. After all, as scripture
tells us, Jesus came to heal the sick, and to forgive
sinners like us. Having received the Lord's
forgiveness, we become the blessed sinners that
our Psalmist talks about. And then we are inspired
to sing out and praise the Lord.

In this Psalm, one of David’s penitential psalms,
our Psalmist sings out about the heaviness of his 
sin, that weighs upon him so long as he keeps 
silent.  David's sins were hidden in his heart.
Then when he declares his sin, and confesses 
his faults, his burden is lifted and his guilt is taken 

David is compelled to cry out “unclean, unclean”
and to seek God’s forgiveness in order to be healed.
For our part we too are called to kneel before our 
Lord and beg for mercy in order to receive his grace 
during the Sacrament of Confession.

As Jesus says, it is what's inside our hearts
that needs to be purified. And having been
cleansed from within, we really have something
to be joyful about.

We are all pitiful in the sight of Christ, but once 
on our knees, having confessed and repented
of our sins, there is hope for us sinners whose sin
is forgiven. As it says in the Psalm,  “Blessed is 
he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered.”

We all need a spiritual cleansing from time to time
if we are to obtain a pure heart. They say confession
is good for the soul, and as the Psalm tells us, we 
know that confessing our faults will lead us to be 
glad in the Lord and rejoice.


Discussion Questions for Reflection
1.  Speak of the peace you obtain after having received Absolution for 
your sins when you participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
 2.  Our psalmist, David, is convicted of his sins and acknowledges his 
faults before the Lord.  What is it in your life that inspires you to confess
your sins before the Lord?