Monday, March 27, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, April 2, 2017


Psalm 130: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8  (Read) 

With the Lord, there is mercy and fullness of redemption.”

The psalmist calls to the Lord from out of the 
depths’ of his sin that has brought him near to 
death. He asks the Lord, ‘Hear my cry for mercy.’
He waits with longing for the Lord, knowing that 
God forgives, and  redeems us, even when we 
abandon Him.  My soul looks for the Lord more 
than sentinels for daybreak.”

There is no way we can please God, so long
as we remain in the flesh, as St Paul says in
Sunday’s second reading. (Romans 8:8).
But God forgives us, gives us 'life in the spirit' 
and saves us from death (remember 'the wages
of sin is death.')   What greater act of
forgiveness could there be than the one
made for us by the Son of God?  But with you
there is forgiveness, that you may be revered.”

We too await our redemption with hope, 
knowing that even if we are dead in our sins,
the Lord will revive us. We too cry out to the
Lord for forgiveness, as our psalmist says, 
“Lord, may your ears be attentive to my cry
for mercy.”

Redemption is a promise made to us, just as
the Lord promised the Israelites that he would
open their graves and put his Spirit within them,
so they would live. (Sunday’s first reading,  
Ezekiel 37:12-14)

That same Spirit raised Jesus from the dead,
and St Paul tells us the Spirit of God will give
life to our mortal bodies too. (Romans 8:11)
This is that “full redemption” the psalmist talks 
about that is later made real to us in the Gospel 
story of Lazarus. (John 11:1-45)
And so we too have come to believe and 
revere our Lord, as happens in the Gospel
among the Jews in Bethany.  Truly, 'Our God
is an awesome God.'


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist sings about the promise of forgiveness that is 
available to us if we trust 
in the Lord.   Speak about how you will  seek out God's mercy during this Lenten season.

2.  The Psalm talks about 'plenteous redemption,' or the 'fullness of redemption.'   

Tell what this means to you as you prepare for the coming of Easter.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, March 26, 2017


“You anoint my head with oil.”


Just as David was anointed by Samuel,
so too we are chosen by the Lord to be
His servants and to do His work.

Our own family members may scoff at this,
and we may think we are least likely to succeed
as a servant of God.  But the Lord anoints ordinary
people to do extraordinary things. The weak
are chosen to shame the strong.

Where does the power come from to do the
Lord's work?  Like David, we are anointed
with oil by the Lord, and we make a covenant
with Him.  Our trust in the Lord is rewarded.

We must do as David did and open our hearts
to receive the Holy Spirit.  St Paul says it another
way in this Sunday's second reading – 
“Awake O' sleeper, and Christ will give you light.”

Sunday's Gospel shows us that Jesus came to cure
our spiritual blindness. We lack nothing when we
trust in the Lord. We fear nothing, even when our
lives are at a low point spiritually or physically.
Our eyes are opened by our trust in the Lord;
we are led out of the dark valley of sin,
where we did fruitless things in secret.

Our response, as the psalmist says, is to let 
the Lord lead us, to listen to Him, and to take 
courage from Him. God sends his Son to save us 
and His Spirit to live within us. “Surely goodness 
and mercy will follow us all the days of our life, 
and we shall dwell in the house
of the Lord forever.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist says that the Lord guides us in right paths for His name's sake.   
Do you feel chosen to do God's will?  If so, how are you overcoming any obstacles 
to make it happen?

2.  The Psalm's verses affirm, 'The Lord is at my side, with His rod and His staff that 
give me courage.'  Are you empowered to serve God and live out the Gospel?  
Give an example.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, March 19, 2017


Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-7, 8-9  (Read)

“We are the people God shepherds,
the flock He guides.”

The Psalm is a call to praise the Lord
and to obey Him. We are cautioned not
to 'harden our hearts' as the Israelites
did at Meribah. We are not to test the 
Lord as our spiritual ancestors tested 
the Lord 'as in the day of Massah in 
the desert.'  After all, we are 'God’s 
well tended flock.'

Our Lord is a good shepherd, and we 
are His sheep. As St Paul tells us in 
today's second reading,  the love of 
God is 'poured out into our hearts
through the holy Spirit.' (Romans 5:5)
Knowing that, we should 'bow down 
in worship, kneel before the Lord
who made us,'  as the Psalm says.
And when we humble ourselves
and open our hearts to the Lord, 
we are set free. We are no longer
constrained by the things of this world, 
and we can be open to His love and
His teachings.

Today's Gospel  affirms that Our Lord Jesus
is our savior, and just as the life of the Samaritan
woman at the well was transformed by the words
of Jesus, we too can be transformed, if we truly
listen to the Lord. Not only will He tell us
'everything we ever did,' but He will give us
that living water which quenches our spiritual
thirst. (See John 4: 5-42)

At that point our hearts will no longer be hardened.
We will 'bow down in worship,' and as our psalmist
says, we will greet our Lord with a song of praise.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist encourages us not to harden our hearts if we
hear God's voice.   
Do you find it difficult sometimes to carry out God's will in your life even if you believe 
He is speaking to you?   Give an example.

2.  The psalm reminds us that we are like sheep and the Lord is our
Are you willing to be just an ordinary sheep  among His flock?  If so, what does 
it mean to you to be shepherded by the Lord?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, March 12, 2017


Psalm 33: 4-5, 18-19, 20, 22  (Read)

“The eyes of the Lord are upon those who
fear Him, to deliver them from death.”

The Psalm is praise for God’s providence,
the blessings He gives us. “The Lord fills
the earth with goodness. His works are

We may not have the faith of Abraham
(Genesis 12:1-4), but we can be sure
the Lord’s eyes are upon us – “The 
Lord’s eyes are upon those who hope 
for His gracious help.” As our psalmist 
says, “O Lord, we have put our hope 
in you.”

In Sunday's 2nd reading, St Paul says 
that God has saved us and called us to 
a holy life.  (2 Timothy 1:9)
The Psalmist confirms this – “We are
delivered from death, kept alive in times
of famine.” We may not be starving for
physical food, but we could face spiritual
death from sin if we were not saved by 
our Lord Jesus.

“The eyes of the Lord are upon those 
who fear Him, to deliver them from death.”
Remember, the wages of sin is death, and 
we are all afflicted.  Fortunately for us, 
Christ destroyed death and brought life,
as St Paul says (2 Timothy 1:10),
so it is natural that we openly ask for His 
help and His protection.   He is our shield 
in the spiritual battle that we all have to fight.  
“Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help 
and our shield.”

If we trust in the Lord, His eyes will be upon 
us so long as we count ourselves among 
those who fear Him, and we can expect 
to receive His grace.

Through His goodness we can expect a
transfiguration of our own, and that same light
which shone from Jesus' face that day on 
Mt Tabor can be a source of light for us
and those around us. “We have put our hope
in you, O Lord.”

Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  As our psalmist says, the Lord's eyes are upon us, and that is a good thing 
because of His saving grace.  Speak of how you depend on God's providence 
to preserve you as you go about your daily life amidst the world's attractions.

2.  The Psalm assures us that God's love and mercy will be granted to us, as we 
place our trust in Him.  Give an example of how you have trusted in the Lord and 
how you have benefited from His kindness.