Monday, January 30, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, February 5, 2017


“Light shines through the darkness
to the upright.”

The Psalm inspires us to have 
a right relationship with the Lord 
by becoming 'upright.'   
Having done so, having delighted
in God's commands, we begin to 
imitate Him and treat our brothers 
and sisters as He would do.

“Light shines through the darkness 
to the upright; he is gracious and 
merciful and just.”  These are 
heavenly qualities (being gracious, 
and merciful and just), and having 
God's light in our hearts
inspires us to do good works,
to “conduct our affairs with justice,”
“give to the poor lavishly.”

And as we measure out a good 
and generous measure, our measure 
is returned to us many times over.  
As the Psalm says, we will be lifted up 
from within; our "horn shall be exalted 
in glory."


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm's verses are in keeping with this Sunday's Gospel
and the reading from Isaiah.  All three affirm that we people of
faith are the 'light of the world' and are motivated to do good deeds.  

Give an example of how your light shines through in the darkness.

2.  Our psalmist speaks of a man whose 'heart is firm, trusting in
the Lord,' whose 'heart is steadfast.'   In our world today, what makes 

you firm of heart and trusting in the Lord?


Monday, January 23, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, January 29, 2017


Psalm 146: 6-7, 8-9, 9-10  (Read)

"Blessed are the poor in spirit."

The Psalm is about trusting in God,
the one who made us. “Happy those 
whose hope is in the Lord, the maker 
of heaven and earth.”  Why do we 
trust in God and not princes of this 
world?  Because, “He keeps faith 
forever,” and, “He gives food to the 
hungry."  Who among us is not hungry
for a closer relationship with The Lord?

In Sunday's first reading, the prophet 
Zephaniah tells us to “Seek the Lord 
all you humble of the earth.” 
(Zephaniah 2: 3)    
St Paul in our second reading assures 
us, God is not going to call the wise, 
the powerful, or those of noble birth.
Rather, he calls the lowly, the weak, 
to shame the strong. 
(1 Corinthians 1: 26-28)

The message is clear – The Psalm is 
telling us we really need to humble ourselves
if we want to be raised up with Him. 
That may be hard to do if it means we have 
to swallow our pride and put aside worldly 
concerns.  But it we truly want to be set free
from the sins that bind us, then we need to 
repent and bow down before the Lord and 
seek his grace.  Where else are the promises
of our God fulfilled but in the healin
ministry of JesusWho else has the grace 
and the mercy to heal us?

So we can pray this Psalm, not only in honor 
of the heavenly Father, but also in honor of 
Christ, whom God exalted. “The Lord shall 
reign forever, through all generations.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist says, "The Lord sets captives free."   In what ways are you captive,
and how has the Lord set you free?

2.  The Psalm proclaims, "The Lord gives sight to the blind."  In what areas of your
life were you not able to see things clearly, and give an example of how the Lord
has enabled you to regain your sight.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, January 22, 2017


“The Lord is my light and my salvation.”

The Psalm is about trusting the 

Lord and our desire to spend 
the rest of our days in His 
presence. The Psalm says, 
"One thing I ask of the Lord; 
this I seek: to dwell in the
house of the Lord all the days 
of my life.”

Perhaps this desire to be with 

the Lord is what inspired Simon 
Peter and his brother Andrew 
that day by the Sea of Galilee, 
when they left their father and 
their nets to follow Jesus and 
be his disciples (Sunday's Gospel).
Surely, Peter and Andrew recognized 

Jesus as their own personal light 
and their own personal Savior.  
As the Psalm says, "The Lord is 
my light and my salvation."

As we grow older, we too take steps 

on our journey to be with the Lord, 
to enter His house.  Recall that Jesus 
said, “My house has many mansions.”  
It is no accident that older people
want to go to daily Mass and be with 

the Lord as much as possible.  They 
are called to that promise of eternal 
joy when they may “gaze on the 
loveliness of the Lord” all the days 
of their lives.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Two verses of the Psalm assure us that we should not fear, or be afraid 

of anyone, so long as the Lord is our refuge and our salvation.  How do you 
apply these verses to your daily life?

2.  Our psalmist asks, "To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life 

that I may gaze on the loveliness of the Lord."   Where is the house of the Lord,
and how do you believe you will get there?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, January 15, 2017


Psalm 40: 2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10  (Read)

“He put a new song into my mouth.”

Our psalmist David waits for the Lord,
to reach out to Him, to make God hear
his cry.  We are like that.  We are weak 
on our own; we need the Lord’s strength 
to be delivered from our sinful ways.

As the prophet Isaiah says, God is our
strength. (Isaiah 49:5)   We put our trust
in Him.  Our God is an awesome God.
“Many shall look on [our God] in awe
and trust in the Lord.”  We are called 
to be God's holy people, as St Paul 
tells us. (1 Corinthians 1:2)

Our psalmist says, “He put a new song 
into my mouth.”  In response we sing a 
new song unto the Lord.  For us, having 
waited for the Lord, it is no longer the 
same old tune or the same old us.   
We are in fact a new creation, singing out 
the good news.  Where does our joyful 
spirit come from?
It comes from the Lord, and we are called
to share what He has given us and to do
His will.

We are called to follow Christ.
Obedience isn’t an unpleasant chore for us;
instead, as the Psalm tells us,
“To do your will is my delight.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm Response this Sunday is, "Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will."  
Speak of how you discern God's will in your life, and tell how you are carrying out 
what God wants you to do. 

2.  Our psalmist David says, "God put a new song into my mouth." 
Have you too 
had a conversion in your walk with the Lord?  Tell of your own experience.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, January 8, 2017


Psalm 72: 1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13  (Read)

“Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.”


The Psalm is a prayer for our newborn King,
a Messiah who will be like the “rain coming
down upon the fields, like showers watering
the earth.”  Our psalmist prays that our
newborn King will be anointed by God with
divine judgment and empowered to rule the earth.

The prophet Isaiah in our 1st reading predicts that
the light of the Lord will cause our hearts to overflow,
and the riches of the sea to be emptied out
before us. (Isaiah 60:5) 
Our psalmist also speaks of abundance
that will flourish in the King's days.
But the Messiah is among us, to do more than
bless us materially; the Savior has come to make
our burdens easy, to share our afflictions.
“The lives of the poor He shall save.”

We see the light, just as the prophet Isaiah said
we would.  (Isaiah 60:1) 
In the Psalm, the mystery is revealed
to us, poor in spirit though we are:
“He rescues the poor when they cry out [as we do],
the afflicted who have no one to help.”
This is what our Good Shepherd Jesus is sent to do,
to shepherd God’s people. This is why we join the
Magi in paying homage to our newborn King, and
join with our psalmist in singing,
"Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

Our psalmist mentions 'afflicted ones' and 'the afflicted' in two of the Psalm's verses.  
Are there times when you can identify yourself as an 'afflicted' one?   Tell what remedies
are available to you that are mentioned in the Psalm.

The Psalm says, 'Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.'   Using the verses 
of the Psalm, explain why 'all kings' would want to pay homage to our Lord.