Monday, July 31, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, August 6, 2017


Psalm 97: 1-2, 5-6, 9  (Read)

"The Lord is king."

Psalm 97 celebrates the glory 

of the Lord; the earth rejoices
and all peoples see His glory.   

The Psalm's verses recall for 
us this Sunday's Feast of the 
Transfiguration when we see 
the glory of God shining on 
the face of our Savior Jesus 

God is present in the bright 
cloud which surrounds Jesus,
and the voice of God declares,

"This is my beloved Son."
We join with our psalmist and 

shout, "The Lord is king,"
and like the disciples in Sunday's 

Gospel, we fall prostrate and are 
in awe of this divine vision before us.  
(Matthew 17:1-9)

Oh that we would be completely open 

to the will of the Father, as Christ was,
on that high mountain when He was
transfigured, and His face shone like 

the sun.

We may not be called to ascend a high 

mountain to converse with Moses and 
Elijah, but we too can be transfigured 
by the face of God shining upon us.  
We may not receive a vision like Daniel  
(Daniel 7: 9-10, 13-14), but we too can 
be transformed by God's surging stream 
of fire that purifies and causes the mountains 
to melt like wax.

We may not need to be there in person when 

Jesus appears in glory and the Father affirms 
the divinity of the Son.  Wherever we are, Christ 
is manifested to us children of light, who have 
put off the works of darkness and put on the 
armor of light. 

St Paul says that we all, with unveiled face, 

beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed
into his likeness. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
This is a daunting prospect for us, as it was 

for Christ's disciples.  But we can rely on the 
prayer of the Psalm which tells us, "Light dawns 
for the just and gladness for the honest of heart;
God protects the souls of the faithful; the fire 

of the Lord goes before him, consuming his 
foes on every side."


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm speaks of an awesome day when clouds and darkness surround 

our God and fire goes before Him.   Despite this awesome vision tell of how you 
are transformed into a child of light when you encounter God.

2.  Having encountered God and been transformed, we are called to follow Christ, 

take up our cross, and carry out God's will in our lives.  Speak of what God has 
commissioned you to do for Him.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, July 30, 2017


"Lord, I love your commands."

Our psalmist is in prayer,
expressing his love for the Lord's commands,
and promising to keep His words.

We may not have the wisdom of Solomon,
but we have enough discernment to recognize 
how powerful the Lord's decrees can be in our
spiritual lives. Just as the law of the Lord
is precious to our psalmist, so too is the law
of the Lord central to our lives and to our faith.

Our psalmist says that the Lord's decrees are
wonderful, and therefore he observes them.
We may not always think of the law as wonderful
(some people may consider it restrictive),
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.

Doing God's will (keeping his commandments)
isn't easy, but having received His grace, 
and having been granted discernment
to know right from wrong, good from evil,
we can follow Him with conviction. 
Our 'yes' will mean 'yes' to the Lord,
and our 'no' will mean
'no' to the devil and his minions.

Having decided to do His will,
we take delight in keeping His statutes;
they are like honey to us.
And the blessings we receive
are part of what God has prepared
for those who love Him.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist says he observes the Lord's commandments because they are wonderful 

and they shed light.   Explain why you are committed to follow the Lord's decrees.

2.  The Psalm assures us that we go forward if we follow God's precepts, and in so doing 
we avoid every false way.  Speak of  how God's commandments protect you on your 
journey of faith and draw you closer to God.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, July 23, 2017


“Turn toward me, and have pity on me,
give your strength to your servant.”

We pray, as does our psalmist David,
for the Lord to attend to the 'sound of
our pleading.' We take refuge in the same
heavenly Father that Christ did. Even
when we are far away, the Lord has pity
on us. Even though we forget Him, He
does not forget us. He searches our hearts;
He gathers us into His mansion
at the end of the age.

He empowers us to fight a good fight.
God saves us from our enemies, and also
from ourselves. All we have to do is
open our hearts to Him and do His will
by striving to be saved. For God gives
His children good ground for hope, and
He permits repentance for their sins.
(Wisdom 12:19, 1st reading)

Our Psalmist never stops asking,
and He is rightly sure,
that God could never stop giving.
God could scarcely resist our prayers.
Even though we do not know how to pray
as we ought, as St Paul says, the Holy Spirit
Himself intercedes with inexpressible
groanings.  (Romans 8:26, 2nd reading)

The Lord is present to us;
He listens; He pardons; He saves.
God's goodness overwhelms us.
Even nonbelievers will come to worship
God and glorify His name.

Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist is overwhelmed with the goodness of our
merciful Lord.   
Give an example of how God has attended to the sound of your pleading 
and done a wondrous deed in your life.

2.  The Psalm is a prayer that God will strengthen and
empower His servant.  
Speak of how the Lord has empowered you to do His will.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, July 16, 2017


Psalm 65: 10, 11, 12-13, 14  (Read)

“The Lord has visited the land 
and watered it; greatly has He 
enriched it.” 
Water is so critical for a place 
like the Holy Land, as it is here 
in the arid climate of Southern 
California. Without water we 
could not produce any fruit.
We are blessed that “God's 
watercourses are filled;”
and He provides us with an 
abundant harvest.

We also depend upon the Lord 
to supply us with what Jesus called 
the ‘living water’ that satisfies our 
spiritual thirst. Jesus is the Word 
that drenches us, adorns our year 
with plenty.  How else could we 
bear fruit?  With his showers He 
softens the land, blessing its young 
sprouts (that is us). We are like untilled 
meadows without his word and his grace.
How else could we expect our pastures 
to be blanketed with grain?

The Lord prepares the earth;
He adorns our paths with fruitful rain.
The hills are robed in joy.
God’s Word is showered down upon us,
and does not return to God void;
we do his will;
we are his witnesses;
we keep the faith.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist speaks about the Lord having visited the land and watered it.   
Tell of how the Lord has drenched you with His living water that yields a fruitful 

2.  The Psalm assures us that the Lord breaks up the clods of the land and 
softens it with showers.  Give an example of how God's Word has softened 
you up spiritually and led you to do His will.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, July 9, 2017


“The Lord lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.”

We may question why God allows 
us to suffer, why he allows bad 
things to happen to good people. 
We may ask, as the early believers 
probably did,  “Why is it necessary 
to undergo such hardships
to enter the kingdom of God?”

Scripture tells us that afflictions are 
to be expected in our walk with 
the Lord.  We may not understand 
what God is up to, but we can be sure 
that our faith will be strengthened
if we stand fast in the face of suffering.
We will become better witnesses 
for Christ if we are humbled;
we become better servants
if we bear up with our difficulties
and trust in the Lord, as our psalmist tells us.

And as the Gospel says, we are raised up 
by getting 'yoked to Jesus.'  (Matthew 11:28-30)
That is how our burdens are made light,
by helping Jesus to carry His cross,
as Simon did that day on the road to Calvary.
Despite what we may think,
his 'yoke is easy and his burden light.'

Remember that endurance is a Godly quality
and will help us to get yoked to Jesus.
Having done that, we, like our psalmist David,
join with the faithful and
speak of the glory of God's reign
and bless his name.


Discussion Questions for Reflection
1.  Our psalmist assures us that the Lord will lift us up when we are falling.   
Speak of a time when you have undergone hardship and how your faith has
been strengthened.

2.  The Psalm says that the Lord is "good to all and compassionate toward all 
his works."  Tell how this verse inspires you to be more compassionate toward 
those in your life who may not always be lovable in your sight.