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.'


  1. We must never forget that God has no limits or bounds in His mercy for us ... He is all merciful. We know He has forgiven adultery and murder, and, if we are sincere in asking for help, we know with confidence that He will never forsake us. That, is a foundation of our faith.

  2. Rudy H5:26 PM

    In this Psalm after the adultery, murder, and accusation, instead of hiding, or denying the charges, David turned to God in prayer and repentance. He did not try to justify or explain his actions. He recognized what he had done and threw himself on the mercy of God. Regardless of what happened, the important point is that David did turn back to the Lord.

    Today, we may not be guilty of the same actions as David. However, each one of us have our weaknesses or faults. It may be gossip, an unforgiving spirit, alcohol, unfaithfulness, a lack of commitment, or an infinite variety of other things. When a person has failed to control that particular passion or drive, the realization of sin and weakness must be faced. At such times, the same cry will be heard, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compas­sion blot out my transgressions.”

    For us Christians, there is an added assurance that David did not have. David’s prayer for mercy was based upon a faith and love that did not have the ­revelation of the good news about Jesus Christ. The Lord knew that His children would stumble and fall, but the sacrifice of Jesus Christ would be the source of constant cleansing. The key for a Christian would be faith and love for the Lord.

    Today, the fulfillment of God’s plan is here. Even though we try and fail, there is forgiveness in Jesus Christ. That forgiveness is guaranteed AS LONG as we walk in the light of the Lord. The only way that that promise can be lost is for us to deliberately reject and turn away from the relationship that is established in Jesus Christ.