Monday, February 27, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, March 5, 2017

         (By J. Kim) 

Psalm 51:  3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17  (Read)

“A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me”

We are all born of a sinful nature.
Just as Adam and Eve fell to temptation
in the Garden of Eden (this Sunday’s first
reading, Genesis 3: 1-7), so too has God's
chosen one (King David) fallen.
David, our psalmist,  is sincerely sorry for 
committing adultery and murder, two 
gravely  sinful acts which separate him
from our loving Father.

But God in his compassion and goodness can
blot out David’s offense, no matter how grave. 
David’s sins, like our own, are offensive to God 
first and foremost – “Against you alone have
I sinned.”

David cries out to be rescued from his fate,
to be saved from death, which is a consequence
of his sins. David’s verses are a prayer of
repentance and recall for us the power of the
Sacrament of Confession. “A clean heart create
for me, O God; and a steadfast spirit renew
within me. Give me back the joy of your salvation.”
His words are prophetic and speak of God’s grace
that becomes available through Christ’s gift of
justification (Sunday's 2nd reading, Romans 5: 15-19).

Our psalmist pleads with the Lord, "Have mercy on me,
O God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion
blot out my offense."    We are reminded here that no
sin is too big for God to forgive.   And when we do fall
into deep patterns of sin, we must realize that our 
wrongdoing isn't only against other people, but ultimately,
it's rebellion against the Lord himself. "Against you alone
have I sinned,"  is how David acknowledges this fact.  

God wants to have a close relationship with us, but
unconfessed sin will always get in the way. We must
not only confess our sins openly and sincerely, but
we must work at "restoring the joy of salvation” in
our hearts. 

Once we have rebuilt a solid foundation with God the Father,
no strong assault from Satan will penetrate.  We can have

that very same "steadfastness of spirit" that David asks
for in the Psalm and that Jesus displays in the Gospel.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist calls upon the Lord to renew within him a 'steadfast spirit.'  

Give an example of how our God has done a work in you so that you can  carry 
your cross with endurance, trusting in God's strength.

2.  The Psalm's verses speak of how we offend God by our sins and separate
ourselves from His loving presence.   Tell of how, with the help of God's grace,   
you are able to obtain a right relationship with the Lord, and regain the
'joy of your salvation.'

Monday, February 20, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, February 26, 2017


“Only in God is my soul at rest;
I shall not be disturbed.”

The Psalm contrasts the appeal of
worldly pursuits against the tranquility
that is found in God alone.
“Only in God is my soul at rest.”

We are to open our hearts totally to
our Lord. We need not be 'disturbed'
at all by the vanity of riches or by seeking
success in wickedness and violence.
These attractions are fleeting; they
do not last; they are weightless in
their nothingness. 

The one solid rock in our lives is God. 
He alone is our stronghold, our salvation,
as our psalmist says.  Even if a mother
should forget the child of her womb,
the Lord will never forsake us, as the
prophet Isaiah tells us in this Sunday's
first reading.  (Isaiah 49:15)

We are all looking for inner peace, but the
world does not show us how to obtain it. 
“Only in God be at rest, my soul.”
We do not put our faith in humans; worldly
success cannot last. Only in God do we put
our trust at all times, for our Lord will care
for us, clothe us, feed us, and give us spiritual

In the words of our Savior (this Sunday's Gospel),
“Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these
things will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6:33)
Having put our trust in the Lord, we pour out our hearts
before him. “Rest in God alone my soul!”

Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm reminds us not to be 'disturbed' by worldly issues or things
that are vain.  Speak about how you are doing along your faith journey 
so that you put God first in your life.

2.  Our psalmist sings about how we may obtain true inner peace, "Only in God 
be at rest, my soul."  Explain how you are able to obtain inner peace and healing 
by trusting only in God.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, February 19, 2017


Psalm 103: 1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13  (Read)

“The Lord redeems your life from destruction, 
crowns you with kindness and compassion.”

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, and 
to treat His anointed ones with 
love and compassion, as He 
would do.

This Sunday's Gospel teaches 
a powerful and difficult lesson – 
we are to be merciful to our
enemies by imitating the Father.  
(Matthew 5: 43-48)
And the Psalm tells us how to do this, 
by being “Merciful and gracious, 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 imitate 
God and have compassion on those 
we would typically want to condemn.

We cannot imitate God without a share 
in Christ’s divinity, and in turn being 
empowered by the Holy Spirit within us.  
Only then will we have the kind of 
compassion the psalmist speaks about, 
“As a father has compassion on his 
children, so the Lord has compassion 
on the 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.”


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.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, February 12, 2017

            (by J. Kim)

“Blessed are they who follow the law 
of the Lord.”

Our psalmist is in prayer asking for many 

things.  He asks, "Open my eyes, that I may 
consider the wonders of your law."  We may 
not think of the law as wonderful, but rather 
may consider it restrictive and harsh, but if 
we learn to do His will, we find that we are 
liberated, set free from the sin that drags 
us down.  We choose life instead of death.

The Lord reveals to us very clearly how to 

live a life that is "happy" and full of peace.  
"Happy are those who observe God's 
decrees, who seek the Lord with all their 

However, with man's sinful nature, we are 

likely to fall far short.  God never intended 
to justify anyone through the Law of Moses.  
Rather, the law shows us where we are sinful. 
Fortunately for us, God sent his son among us
to redeem us from those sins  

If we are not sure where sin lurks in our lives, 
then our prayer becomes the words of the 
psalmist, “Give me discernment, that I may 
observe your law and keep it with all my heart.”

The closer we walk with the Lord, the brighter 
He shines his goodness into the darkest corners 
of our minds and hearts.  And it's exactly the 
purity of our innermost thoughts and motives 
that matters most to the Lord.  Even the Scribes 
and Pharisees were good at following the law 
with their actions.  The Gospel asks us to delve 
further than that, and make following the law 
about the condition of our inner selves.
(Matthew 5: 17-37)


Discussion Questions for Reflection 

1.  Our psalmist affirms that those who walk in the law of the Lord, 
those who 
observe His decrees, will be happy and blessed.   Based on your own experience, 
how does our Savior lift you back up and restore you when you  stumble?

 2.  The Psalm's verses petition the Lord to instruct us in the way of His  statutes.  
Tell of how you receive guidance and discernment from the Lord that will help you 
observe His law and keep it with all your heart.