Monday, August 28, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, September 3, 2017


“My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.”

This prayer of longing was written 
at a time when David was in the desert, 
a place where physical thirst was all 
around him, and the earth was
parched, lifeless and without water.
But David is writing also about a spiritual 
thirst that overwhelms him and reminds 
him of the emptiness of life without God.

David meditates on those happier moments 
when he was close to the Lord, when his soul
was satisfied as with the riches of a banquet,
and when he took shelter in the shadow of
the wings of God.

We too go through times of spiritual deprivation
when we are away from God and indulge in
sinful practices that separate us from Him.
At those times, like a penitent sinner, we
experience our deepest longing for the love 
of the Lord, and we seek out His loving embrace.
As our psalmist says, at times like that our soul
clings fast to the Lord, we bless Him, we glorify Him,
we praise Him.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist seeks the Lord because his soul thirsts for Him.
Give an example 
of a time when you have hungered for God's presence and blessing in your life.

2.  The Psalm speaks of gazing toward the Lord in the sanctuary.  Tell of a time 

when you have gazed at the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of your parish 
and how you could see His power and His glory.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, August 27, 2017


Psalm 138: 1-2, 2-3, 6, 8   (Read)

“Lord, do not forsake the work of your hands.”

Our psalmist David composed this prayer of a 
grateful heart. “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, 
with all my heart.”

David is grateful because his petitions are 
answered by the Lord. “For you have heard the 
words of my mouth.”  The Lord's answers to
our psalmist's prayers have come at a critical
time, a time when David is seeking to build up 
his strength.

David speaks of a divine rescue -- “When I 
cried out, you answered; you strengthened 
my spirit.”  Perhaps we’re all in need of a 
spiritual rescue of the type David describes.

And it isn’t because of any of the psalmist’s virtues
that he obtains salvation. It is a result of God’s loving
fidelity. “Lord, your love is eternal.” Our God does not 
forsake the work of His hands, though as St Paul says
in Sunday's 2nd reading, “Who has given the Lord 
anything that he may be repaid?” (Rom 11:35) 

Unworthy as we are, and though the Lord is exalted,
He watches over us in our lowly state.  And thanks
be to God, His kindness endures forever.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist speaks of a divine rescue when he was in great need of the 

Lord's Providence.  Give an example of when you have cried out to the Lord 
and He has answered your cry.

2.  The Psalm's verses deal with an age old mystery--the Lord is exalted, 

yet the lowly He sees.   How do you reconcile the apparent contradiction between 
God's heavenly dwelling and His concern for us lowly humans?


Monday, August 14, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, August 20, 2017


"So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation."

No wonder the Gentiles (people like us)
were attracted to the faith when St Paul
and Barnabas were traveling through
the towns, visiting the early churches,
and ministering to the Gentiles.  
The apostles were doing as Jesus did 
when He encountered the Canaanite 
woman in the region of Tyre and Sidon  
(Gospel, Mt 15:21-28).
Though she was not a member of the 
house of Israel, Jesus recognized how 
great was her faith, and the woman's 
daughter was healed from that hour.

By ministering to the Gentiles the way 
of the Lord became known upon earth 
among all the nations, as the Psalm says.  
Indeed the Psalm predicts that God’s 
saving power shall be known among all 
the peoples.  Thankfully, that includes us.

So much that God does for us is sung
in the Psalm's verses, which pray,
"May God have pity on us and bless us;
may He let his face shine upon us."

 God gives us His grace through His son Jesus,
   who is our Savior.
God gives us material blessings –
    all our treasure and gifts are from Him.
He gives us spiritual blessings  –
    we know these as fruits of the spirit.

Today we join with the members of the early church 
in praising God – “May the peoples praise you, God; 
may all the peoples praise you."


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm petitions God to 'Let His face shine upon us.'  In what way 
do you believe that God has let His face shine upon you?

2.  Our psalmist calls for God's salvation to be known among all the nations.  
How are you evangelizing to those who do not know His saving grace?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, August 13, 2017


Psalm 85: 9, 10, 11-12, 13-14   (Read)

“I will hear what God proclaims;
glory dwelling in our land.”

Our psalmist knows the importance 
of listening carefully for the voice 
of the Lord.  For as Elijah discovers 
in Sunday’s 1st reading, God is not 
in the wind, nor the earthquake,
nor the fire. Rather, God appears 
to Elijah as a tiny whispering sound.  
(1 Kings 19)
We too must listen attentively for 
the voice of the Lord and be careful 
not to miss His presence among us.

How do we seek Him out?
Where do we find the Lord?
We find Him when we read and study
his Word, his living Word,
as fresh now as it was thousands
of years ago. For His Word is
as penetrating as a two edged sword,
able to separate bone from marrow.
His Word convicts us,
pointing the way to salvation.
As our psalmist says,
“Near indeed is His salvation
for those who fear Him.”

Our psalmist prepares the way of the Lord --
“Truth shall spring out of the earth,”
(when the Messiah is born).
The goodness and blessings
that the psalmist speaks about
are fulfilled in Christ.
For our Savior is truly,
“Glory dwelling in our land.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist affirms that he will hear what God proclaims.  Tell of how you listen 
for the voice of the Lord and what He is saying to you.

2.  The Psalm proclaims that truth shall spring out of the earth and there will be 'glory 
dwelling in our land.'   Speak of how our Lord appears before you and how He is 
present to you.