Monday, December 25, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, December 31, 2017


“Blessed are those who fear
the Lord and walk in His ways.”

Our psalmist tells us that a man 
who has a right relationship with 
the Lord will also obtain a right 
relationship with his wife and his 
family.  If we have a right
relationship with the Lord, we will 
know how to treat our wives and 
our children, and in turn, we will 
discover how blessed we are in 
our home and by the presence of
our family. “Just so will the man 
be blessed who fears the Lord.”

And if a man walks with the Lord, 
this will be reflected in the way he 
loves his wife.  Because if a man 
cherishes his wife, as ‘flesh of his 
flesh’ and ‘bone of his bones,’ 
he nourishes his relationship with 
her, as Christ nourishes the Church.
And the man’s reward is that his wife 
will be like a ‘fruitful vine’ within his 
house. This is how a man is blessed 
who fears the Lord.

Having been so favored by God, we 
understand why, 'A man shall leave his 
father and mother and cleave to his wife.' 
God made them one flesh, and, 'What God 
has joined, no human being may separate.'

If we fear the Lord and walk in His ways, 
we will receive the blessings of our labor, 
prosper in a material way, and grow old 
gracefully in the company of our family.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm tells us how to gain God's favor so that our family life will 

be blessed.  What does it mean to you to fear the Lord and walk in His ways?

2.  We learn from our psalmist how to behave toward our wife and our children.  

A right relationship with our family is obtained by having a right relationship 
with our Lord.  Explain how you are putting this teaching into practice.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, December 24, 2017


Psalm 89:  2-3, 4-5, 27, 29   (Read)

"The promises of the Lord 
I will sing forever."

This Sunday's Psalm 
sings about God’s 
promises to Israel 
and God's covenant 
with David.  
“I have made a covenant 
with my chosen one.”
That same divine selection 
is celebrated in Sunday's 
first reading that tells the story 
of how David was taken from 
pasturing sheep to become 
Israel’s commander. (2 Samuel 7:8)

Our psalmist quotes the Lord, 
“I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all 

And how does this young shepherd boy 
rise to greatness in Israel?  He succeeds 
because he has found favor with God,
and God will be the source of his strength.  
This is the same divine strength that St Paul 
tells us is available to each of us, 
if we believe and have faith.  (Romans 16:25)

But it isn’t a one way street with the Lord.
David is to show us that we must give glory 
to God.  He cries out, “You are my Father, 
my God, the Rock, my Savior.”

Our Mother Mary also finds favor with God 
and is anointed to be the Blessed Mother 
of our Lord Jesus.  She too responds by 
giving glory to God in this week’s 
Gospel.  (Luke 1:38)

The Lord’s covenant with David stands firm, 
and it is through God’s promise to David 
that the Messiah is born of Mary.
“Forever, I will maintain my love for [David];
my covenant with him stands firm.”
That promise to David is fulfilled 
in the birth of our Savior, and for that 
we too must give glory to God.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  David is to call out to the Lord, 'You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.'  
We too are inspired to cry out to God in a similar way. Tell of the times when you 
have felt like crying out to God in worship and praise.

2. Our Psalm response is, 'Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.' 
One reason to sing of the Lord's goodness is because His promises are trustworthy. 
Describe how you have relied on the promises of the Lord in your faith journey.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, December 17, 2017

"The Almighty has done great things for me."

Mary, the mother of our Lord, speaks this 
psalm of praise (the Magnificat) to God 
in the words of a humble servant:
“For he has looked upon his handmaid’s 

Despite her elevated position as God’s 
chosen instrument, Mary does not exalt 
herself – she exalts God the Father.
"My soul proclaims the greatness of 
the Lord.”  
She glorifies the Lord; 
“The Mighty One has done great things 
for me.”   
Mary is truly God’s anointed one, 
and the spirit of the Lord is upon her;  
"My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” 

And Mary inspires us;  
we too are God’s lowly creatures
and should expect the Lord 
to do great things for us as well. 
We too should expect to be singled out 
by the Lord to do His work.  
This is our food (to do the Lord’s work),
 just as it was for Jesus the Son.

Mary testifies to the light, as does 
John the  Baptist in Sunday's Gospel. 
(John 1: 6-9)
Because of Mary’s faith, 
the Old Testament promises are fulfilled, 
and the tide is turned.  As the Psalm says,
“The hungry [that is who we are] are filled 
with good things.” 


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Blessed Mother says, "The Almighty has done great things for me."
In what way do you also believe that God has done great things for you,
and how have you responded?

2.  Mary declares that God has filled the 'hungry' with good things. 
Do you consider yourself one of the hungry ones?  And if so, in what way 
has the Lord fed you with good things?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, December 10, 2017


Image result for Kindness and truth shall meet;justice and peace shall kiss.Truth shall spring out of the earth,and justice shall look down from heaven.
"Near indeed is His salvation,
Glory dwelling in our land."

The Psalm is a prayer that 
God will restore peace and 
prosperity to the Israelites,
and by extension to us.   
We are told that our salvation 
is near,   “The Lord proclaims 
peace to his people, Glory 
dwelling in our Land.”   

The prophet  Isaiah tells us in 
Sunday’s first reading, our God 
declares, “Give comfort to my people.”  
And Zion is told, “Cry out at the top of 
your voice.”    (Isaiah 40: 1,6, 9)
For us Christians the Psalm is more 
than a cry; it is a promise of salvation.  
“Near indeed is salvation for those 
who fear Him."   St Peter too affirms 
that the Lord does not delay in 
keeping his promise. (2 Peter 3:9)

And what should we expect?
Nothing less than the coming 
of the Messiah himself.  Our psalmist 
affirms, “Truth will spring from the earth.”
For us this happens when the Messiah
is incarnate.

The psalmist prepares the way 
of the Lord, as does John the Baptist 
in this week’s Gospel.  As the psalm says, 
“Justice shall walk before him and prepare 
the way of His steps.”


Discussion Questions for Reflections

1.   The Psalm says, "Truth shall spring out of the earth."  For us this verse foretells 
the coming of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ.  What else about the Psalm 
prepares us for the birth of our Savior?

2.   Our psalmist says, "I will hear what God proclaims."  For us, this verse can be 
seen as a reminder to study the Word of the Lord.  Explain how your study of the 
Word is strengthening your faith.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, December 3, 2017

"Lord, let us see your face and we shall be saved."

The Psalm is a prayer to 
restore Israel, at a time 
when the chosen people 
were scattered and had 
withdrawn from God.

The Psalm is well adapted 
to our prayers during Advent.
We are a people scattered 
and separated from God,
and we await His coming.
Our psalmist makes a direct 
appeal to God to shepherd us,
“Shepherd of Israel listen; 
come to save us.”

“Turn again Lord, attend to this vine.”
The Lord tends to His vineyard.
He protects a shoot planted by His 
right hand, the son of man whom God 
himself made strong.  The coming of 
Christ is intended to revive us, restore 
our strength.  As the Psalm says,
“Then we will not withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon 
your name.”

We all need to be renewed from
time to time when our faith grows 
lukewarm, when our hearts harden 
due to the sins that separate us 
from God.  We, like the Israelites, 
need to beg for God’s mercy, 
to petition the Lord and seek His 
peace, the peace that will guard our 
hearts and minds, and restore us as 
His people.  We are after all,
the work of His hands. (Isaiah 64:7)

Where does our hope for revival 
come from?  It comes from our savior, 
sent by the Lord, our cornerstone.
In Him we are restored.  “Lord of 
hosts restore us; let your face shine 
upon us, that we may be saved.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm says, 'Lord, make us turn to you.' 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 do the Psalm's verses 
encourage you as we begin the season of Advent?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, November 26, 2017


Psalm 23:  1-2, 2-3, 5-6   (Read)

"He guides me in right paths."

This well known psalm is a prayer 
that we offer to our Lord, the Good Shepherd.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”   
We desire to be one of His sheep because He
looks after us and protects us and seeks us
out when we stray.  On the other hand we
do not want to be one of the goats that He
scatters.  Nor do we want to be on the wrong 
side of His judgment when He separates the 
sheep from the goats. 
(See Gospel, Matthew 25: 31-34)

In Sunday’s first reading the prophet Ezekiel tells us --
“The Lord God looks after his scattered sheep.” 
(Ezekiel 34:12)
He brings us back to the sheep-hold
where He will bind up our wounds.
Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd,
and we are drawn to Him, because He offers 
to lead us beside still waters, to grant us peace, 
and to restore us spiritually.

Our Lord Jesus, King of kings, stands by us 
in the victory over death. 
Our psalmist David says it this way, thousands 
of years before the time of Christ,
“You prepare a table before me in the 
presence of my enemies.” 

As the Psalm says, our Lord anoints us; 
He fills our cup so that it overflows.
We are ready to go forth on our own journey 
to discover who we are and how we are to treat others, 
especially the least among us. (Gospel, Matthew 25: 45)
In our journey we learn that, if we really want 
to have eternal life with our Lord, then we must 
become shepherds in our own right, here on earth.

Having been rescued by our Savior, 
and now counted among His obedient sheep, 
and ready to do His will, 
we are groomed to enter the kingdom 
and to sit at the table that God sets for us.
“Surely goodness and mercy 
shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm makes it clear we want to stay on the right side of our 

Good Shepherd; we want to be guided in right paths for His name's sake.  
Explain what you are doing so that you will be placed on His right, and not 
on His left with the goats.

2.  As His good sheep, we are being groomed to do His will.  Our psalmist 

says that our Lord anoints us with oil.  Having been anointed by the Lord, 
how are you carrying out His will within your family and your community?