Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, October 22, 2017


Reflections


“Awesome is He; give to the Lord 
the glory due His name!”



The Psalm is a message to 
Israel’s neighbors and to the 
rest of the world, that there 
is one true God.  
“Tell God’s glory among the 
nations; among all peoples, 
God’s marvelous deeds.”

The Israelites have returned 
from exile and have been 
brought back from near death 
as a people.  The remnant has 
survived, and the Israelites have 
been delivered by the one 
and only God.   

And so they sing a “new song,” 
celebrating the “newness of God” 
that comes with the joy of praising 
Him as sovereign.  
“Sing to the Lord a new song; 
sing to the Lord, all you lands.”  
As the Psalm says, we are all 
summoned to adoration
of our sovereign.  We are called 
to give Him glory and praise.

In Sunday's first reading the prophet 
Isaiah confirms there is no other 
God besides Him.  (Isaiah 45: 5)
The gods of other nations are mere
idols, and they all do nothing, says 
our psalmist. But our God made 
the heavens; He is to be praised 
and feared.  

And how do we praise Him?
How do we give the Lord the glory 
due His name?  We engage in works 
of faith; we undertake a labor of love 
for Him, as St Paul tells us in Sunday's 
second reading.  (1 Thessalonians 1:3)

All peoples are invited to recognize 
our God, and pledge to obey Him.  
“Say among the nations, “The Lord 
is King; the world will surely stand fast, 
never to be shaken.”  And having 
acknowledged that God is sovereign, 
how should we and all the nations behave?   
The Gospel tells us how --  Jesus says,
“Repay to God what belongs to God.” 
(Matthew 22: 21)
And we understand our calling,
“Give to the Lord the glory due His name!”  

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm exhorts us to "Sing to the Lord a new song."  

How does your song go when you sing praise to God?  What 
do you have to say to the Lord?

2.  Our psalmist encourages us to "Give the Lord glory and honor."  

We are called to give glory to God in the works of faith that we do.  
Speak of how you give God the glory in what you do.




Monday, October 9, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, October 15, 2017


Reflections


“I shall dwell in the house of the Lord 
all the days of my life.”

It is said that this wonderful prayer 
was written at the end of King David’s 
life. We are with David as he passes 
from death to life on God’s holy 
mountain.

Isaiah says the Lord will provide 
a feast of rich food and choice wines 
on His holy mountain. (Isaiah 25: 6)
Our psalmist tells us, 
“The Lord prepares a table before me;
He anoints my head with oil, 
my cup runneth over.”

Isaiah says that God wipes away our 
tears.  King David tells us, 
“Even though I walk through the valley 
of death, I shall fear no evil,  for you are 
with me.” 
What greater companion 
would we want as we face death?
St Paul agrees  --  his strength comes 
from the Lord, through Jesus, who 
empowers him.   (Philippians 4:13)
This is the same Lord who shepherds 
us in the Psalm.  

“He restores my soul.” 
David sets the tone for what is to come --  
Jesus becomes the good Shepherd, 
leads us beside still waters,
guides us along the right path.
With the Good Shepherd as our guide, 
if we walk with Him, we are sure to be 
among the chosen ones, and we are 
sure to be clothed in the right clothing
when we arrive on God’s holy mountain.

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  King David, our psalmist, is confident that he will dwell in God's house for all 
the days of his life.  What draws you to God's heavenly mansions and what gives 
you confidence that you will live there?

2.  The Psalm's verses reassure us that we are God's sheep and our Lord is our 
Good Shepherd.  Are you one of His sheep, and in what way are you gaining repose 
in His pastures?



Monday, October 2, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, October 8, 2017


Reflections

Psalm 80:  9, 12, 13-14, 15-16, 19-20   (Read)


"O Lord, take care of this vine;
protect what your right hand has planted."

The Psalm is a prayer to restore 
the Israelites to God’s vineyard.   
The chosen people have lost God’s 
protection; God has removed the 
hedge that He put up around them.

“God brought a vine out of Egypt 
and planted it.”  But what kind 
of fruit did God’s vineyard bear?
The prophet Isaiah says in 
Sunday's first reading that 
despite all of God’s efforts, 
nothing but wild grapes 
was produced. (Isaiah 5:2)
And so God broke down the 
vineyard’s walls, letting, 
“The boar strip the vine, 
and the beasts of the field 
feed upon it.” 

There is a message here for 
all of us who do not bear fruit 
or use our resources wisely.
We could lose God’s protection, 
and we may not be able to defend 
ourselves from the evil one that 
prowls about like a roaring lion.  

We, like the psalmist, need to beg 
for God’s mercy.  “Turn again, 
O Lord of hosts, attend to this vine.”
If we’re not careful, the kingdom 
will be taken away from us, 
as it was in the Gospel, and 
given to a people that will produce 
its fruit.  (Matthew 21: 43)
We,  like the Israelites, need 
to be restored.  The Psalm's
verses pray, “Give us new life,  
and we will call on your name.”

Where does our hope for revival come from?
It comes from our Savior, 
sent by the Lord, our cornerstone, 
“The son of man whom God himself 
made strong.”
In Him we are restored. 
As the Psalm says, “Lord of hosts 
restore us; let your face shine 
upon us, that we may be saved.”

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm says, “Lord, take care of this vine; then we will no more withdraw 

from you.  Give us new life, and we will call upon your name.”  Have you noticed 
at times when we stray off His path how the Lord tugs at each of us so that 
we return to His ways.   Give an example from your own experience.

2.  Our psalmist is writing about the scattered people of Israel, but his words may 

apply to each of us in our separation from God.   In what way are you inspired by the 
Psalm's verses to repent and seek renewal?





Monday, September 25, 2017

Psalm for October 1, 2017


Reflections



“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 
here; 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.

Our psalmist says,  “Make known 
to me your ways, Lord; 
teach me your paths.” 
The prophet Ezekiel, in Sunday's
first reading, tells us that 
if we follow the Lord's way,
we will be able to turn away 
from sin and avoid death.
(Ezekiel 18: 31)
The psalmist prays to God, 
“Remember no more the sins 
of my youth; remember me only 
in light of your love.”  
And in Sunday's Gospel,  
Jesus tells us how a young 
man became right with God 
after having disobeyed Him.   
(Matthew 21: 31)

And where does the power come from 
to turn away from sin?  
It comes from the Lord, “He shows 
sinners the way.”   It is He who 
encourages us when our tongues confess, 
“The Lord guides the humble rightly, 
and teaches the humble the way.”


Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  As the Psalm says, our Lord shows us sinners the way; we pray that 

He will teach us His paths.   What leads you to follow the Lord's truth?

2.  Our psalmist petitions God to remember not the psalmist's frailties or 

the sins of his youth.   How is the Lord's compassion shown in your life?




Monday, September 18, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, September 24, 2017


Reflections


“Great is the Lord and highly to be praised.”



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,  “His greatness is 
unsearchable.”  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 and ever.
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 
within an unending stream 
of divine love.

“The Lord is near to all 
who call upon him.”
His presence is shown 
in the help, nourishment, 
and salvation that He shows 
to us.  The prophet Isaiah 
urges us, “Seek the Lord 
while He may be found, 
call Him while He is near.”
(Isaiah 55: 6)

We praise God because of 
His divine attributes
of compassion and love.
And fortunately for us, 
the Son shares fully in 
the perfection and works 
of the Father.  So we also 
sing this psalm in honor of 
Christ our Savior, Who shares 
fully in the perfection of God,
and in the works of the Father,


Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist assures us, 'The Lord is near to all who call upon Him.'   
This verse requires us to make the extra effort to reach out to God if we want to be in His presence.  Tell of how you have reached out to the Lord and what has been the result.

2.  The Psalm calls upon us to praise His name forever and ever.  Say how you go about praising the Lord in your daily life.  Give examples.





Monday, September 11, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, September 17, 2017


Reflections



"Not according to our sins 
does He deal with us."


Our psalmist sings the praises
of a divine and loving God, 
who surrounds us with 
compassion, pardons our sins, 
heals our ills.
He nurses no lasting anger, 
He has not dealt with us as our 
sins deserve.  Our duty is to 
remain faithful to the Lord, 
as we are His children,
and to treat His anointed ones 
with love and compassion, 
as He would do.

We are to be merciful to our enemies 
by imitating the Father.  The Psalm 
tells us how:  
“Merciful and gracious is the Lord,
Slow to anger and abounding in kindness.”

Who can love their enemies, and do good 
to them?  It will be difficult if we allow our 
earthly nature to rule us.  Just as “God 
has not dealt with us as our sins merit,”
so must we have compassion on those
we may be inclined to condemn.

We cannot imitate God without a share 
in Christ’s divinity, by allowing the Holy 
Spirit within us to guide us.  Only then 
will we have the kind of compassion 
the psalmist speaks about.

As the Psalm says, God’s love towers over us
if we are his faithful.
If we love the Lord, it will show in our hearts,
and the old things will then pass away.
The Psalm says it well:
As far as the east is from the west, 
so far has He put our transgressions behind us.


Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection


1.  Our Psalm speaks of a loving and compassionate God,
who does not deal with us according to our sins.   Are you able
to treat those who have harmed you in the same way?  Explain.

2.  The verses of the Psalm remind us of the power of the
Sacrament of Reconciliation, "As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He put our transgressions behind us."  Relate how the
Sacrament works for you to put your sins behind you.