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.


  1. It would be absolutely impossible for me to be as compassionate as God, but I am able to treat kindly those who have harmed me in the past. This is because the Lord treats me well by being merciful, gracious and abounding in kindness.

    It is very difficult for me to love my enemies since my earthly nature rules over me. However, being empowered by the Holy Spirit within me, and by imitating the Father who is merciful and gracious, I am able to treat my neighbors with love and kindness.

    The Palmist David says Our Lord does not repay us according to our iniquities. God will remove my transgressions if I confess my sins. He will redeem my life from the pit of sins. His love is with those who fear him, and those who keep his covenants and obey his words. Now I know I have to remain faithful to my Lord who pardons my sins and wipes them clean. This leads me to eternal life.

    How gracious our God is! He forgives and forgets all my sins. That's why I praise the Lord with all my soul, because the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, which is God's nature. God will deal with me compassionately. I should deal with others the same way.
    I will trust Him forever!

  2. It is very difficult to overcome any harm done to you by your enemies. It is even harder to pray for your enemies. I have learned this lesson, especially this year. Treating everyone in a loving and compassionate way, as God would, is challenging because our human nature is to react in the moment with anger or frustration.

    The ballet world is brutal; that is a fact. I have learned to overcome any obstacles and rise above a rejection from a company with God's help and prayer. I have also been grateful to God for the wonderful opportunities that have worked out.

    The most difficult situation for me right now, is just at my home studio. My dance studio is a place where I can lose myself and just spread my love for movement of the body. However, many ballet directors are notorious for being strict and just plain mean, my own directors included. Recently, there has been an increase in the level of toxicity between the teachers and the students, soon to be intermingled in student-to-student relationships and friendships. My "place" of enjoyment and passion is now turning into a dark place that is in desperate need of prayer and God's light. I struggle everyday to pray for those directors and the friendships I don't want to lose. I also struggle to pray for a better self-image. I do my best to be loving and compassionate, but end up crying while driving home. I am not able to completely treat others the way God would, but I know that if I pray to Him, things will work out.

    "Jesus, take over."

  3. Rudy H7:17 PM

    This psalm is a PSALM of joy and thanksgiving for God's many mercies, especially for his loving kindness in forgiving sin and transgression, and it is a call on all creation to praise Him.

    The first part of the psalm is an outburst of praise for blessings granted by God to each man severally; the second part is an enumeration of his loving kindnesses towards his Church as a whole.

    Bottom Line is that Truly God is good to all: each one of us. He reveals himself and his grace to every one of us.

  4. Although we can see our Savior being all merciful, this is a difficult Psalm for most of us and difficult to apply in our daily lives. Pray for help and support in responding in difficult times.