Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, November 5, 2017


Psalm 131: 1, 2, 3   (Read)

"In you Lord, I have found my peace."

Our psalmist David writes about his 
childlike trust in God.  His soul is stilled.   
He is “like a weaned child on its mother’s lap.”

     David is so unlike the priests of Israel 
     described in Sunday’s first reading,  
     who do not listen and are contemptible
     in the Lord’s eyes.  (Malachi 1: 8-10)
     Instead, David listens and submits 
     completely to God in all humility.  
     His heart is not proud, nor are his eyes 
     haughty.  He is so unlike the scribes 
     and the Pharisees described by Jesus 
     in Sunday’s Gospel.   (Matthew 23: 2-6)

     Our psalmist does not busy himself 
     with great matters or concern himself 
     with things beyond his reach. 
     By humbling himself, he will be 
     raised up, as the Gospel promises.
     (Matthew 23:  11-12)
     Our psalmist is in the care of the Lord,
     and he is being cared for as those in 
     the Church of the Thessalonians were – 
     “as a nursing mother cares for her children”
     (1 Thessalonians 2:7)

     There is a message for us, too, in the 
     Psalm’s final verse – David says we are 
     to hope in the Lord, now and forever.  
     That is all we need as believers – 
     the message is simple –  trust in the Lord 
     like a child and learn to do His will.


    Discussion Questions for Reflection

      1.   Our psalmist calls for us to be like a child and trust in the Lord unconditionally.
     Give an example of how you are able to do so.
      2.   David says he has found his peace in the Lord and that his soul is stilled 
      and quieted.   Speak of how you have been able to find peace.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, October 29, 2017


“The Lord Lives!”

The Psalm is saying that 
the Lord is present to us, 
here and nowjust as 
He was when He delivered 
our psalmist David from his 

The really key revelation for 

us is that the Lord lives.  
He lives among us; He is 
present in the Word.  Jesus 
is in fact the Living Word.  
He is present on the inside 
of us through the Holy Spirit.  
He is alive in the Eucharist. 
He humbled himself to share 
in our humanity, so that 
we might have a share in 
His divinity!

So Jesus is alive and well, standing 
by us as our “rock of refuge, our 
shield, our saving horn.”  We join 
with David in praising God and loving 
Him with all our heart and all our mind, 
as Jesus reminds us to do in the Gospel.
(Matthew 22: 37)

How do we apply the Psalm's verses to 
our lives?  We turn to our Lord to equip 
us for the battles that we fight against the 
evil one.  Jesus becomes our fortress!

In this Psalm we hear David, crying out 
to the Lord, as one cries out to his savior.
“My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, 
the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” 
David has just emerged after being saved 
by God from his enemies.  David has been 
rescued by that same God of compassion 
and mercy that is present to us.

David praises his savior in language that 
is familiar to us as his spiritual descendants,
“The Lord lives!  Blessed be my rock! 
Exalted be God my savior!”

For David has been delivered from the 
forces of evil that surrounded him.
And that same deliverance is available to
us, so long as we surrender ourselves 
to God and love God with all of our heart 
and soul and strength.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm affirms for us that our Lord lives!  Tell of how the Lord is present 
to you in your daily life.  How does He reveal Himself to you?

2.  Our psalmist extols God our Savior, and speaks of the Lord as the horn 
of salvation.  When and how do you turn to the Lord as your rock of refuge?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, October 22, 2017


“Awesome is He; give to the Lord 
the glory due His name!”

The Psalm is a message to 
Israel’s neighbors and to the 
rest of the world, that there 
is one true God.  
“Tell God’s glory among the 
nations; among all peoples, 
God’s marvelous deeds.”

The Israelites have returned 
from exile and have been 
brought back from near death 
as a people.  The remnant has 
survived, and the Israelites have 
been delivered by the one 
and only God.   

And so they sing a “new song,” 
celebrating the “newness of God” 
that comes with the joy of praising 
Him as sovereign.  
“Sing to the Lord a new song; 
sing to the Lord, all you lands.”  
As the Psalm says, we are all 
summoned to adoration
of our sovereign.  We are called 
to give Him glory and praise.

In Sunday's first reading the prophet 
Isaiah confirms there is no other 
God besides Him.  (Isaiah 45: 5)
The gods of other nations are mere
idols, and they all do nothing, says 
our psalmist. But our God made 
the heavens; He is to be praised 
and feared.  

And how do we praise Him?
How do we give the Lord the glory 
due His name?  We engage in works 
of faith; we undertake a labor of love 
for Him, as St Paul tells us in Sunday's 
second reading.  (1 Thessalonians 1:3)

All peoples are invited to recognize 
our God, and pledge to obey Him.  
“Say among the nations, “The Lord 
is King; the world will surely stand fast, 
never to be shaken.”  And having 
acknowledged that God is sovereign, 
how should we and all the nations behave?   
The Gospel tells us how --  Jesus says,
“Repay to God what belongs to God.” 
(Matthew 22: 21)
And we understand our calling,
“Give to the Lord the glory due His name!”  


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm exhorts us to "Sing to the Lord a new song."  

How does your song go when you sing praise to God?  What 
do you have to say to the Lord?

2.  Our psalmist encourages us to "Give the Lord glory and honor."  

We are called to give glory to God in the works of faith that we do.  
Speak of how you give God the glory in what you do.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, October 15, 2017


“I shall dwell in the house of the Lord 
all the days of my life.”

It is said that this wonderful prayer 
was written at the end of King David’s 
life. We are with David as he passes 
from death to life on God’s holy 

Isaiah says the Lord will provide 
a feast of rich food and choice wines 
on His holy mountain. (Isaiah 25: 6)
Our psalmist tells us, 
“The Lord prepares a table before me;
He anoints my head with oil, 
my cup runneth over.”

Isaiah says that God wipes away our 
tears.  King David tells us, 
“Even though I walk through the valley 
of death, I shall fear no evil,  for you are 
with me.” 
What greater companion 
would we want as we face death?
St Paul agrees  --  his strength comes 
from the Lord, through Jesus, who 
empowers him.   (Philippians 4:13)
This is the same Lord who shepherds 
us in the Psalm.  

“He restores my soul.” 
David sets the tone for what is to come --  
Jesus becomes the good Shepherd, 
leads us beside still waters,
guides us along the right path.
With the Good Shepherd as our guide, 
if we walk with Him, we are sure to be 
among the chosen ones, and we are 
sure to be clothed in the right clothing
when we arrive on God’s holy mountain.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  King David, our psalmist, is confident that he will dwell in God's house for all 
the days of his life.  What draws you to God's heavenly mansions and what gives 
you confidence that you will live there?

2.  The Psalm's verses reassure us that we are God's sheep and our Lord is our 
Good Shepherd.  Are you one of His sheep, and in what way are you gaining repose 
in His pastures?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, October 8, 2017


Psalm 80:  9, 12, 13-14, 15-16, 19-20   (Read)

"O Lord, take care of this vine;
protect what your right hand has planted."

The Psalm is a prayer to restore 
the Israelites to God’s vineyard.   
The chosen people have lost God’s 
protection; God has removed the 
hedge that He put up around them.

“God brought a vine out of Egypt 
and planted it.”  But what kind 
of fruit did God’s vineyard bear?
The prophet Isaiah says in 
Sunday's first reading that 
despite all of God’s efforts, 
nothing but wild grapes 
was produced. (Isaiah 5:2)
And so God broke down the 
vineyard’s walls, letting, 
“The boar strip the vine, 
and the beasts of the field 
feed upon it.” 

There is a message here for 
all of us who do not bear fruit 
or use our resources wisely.
We could lose God’s protection, 
and we may not be able to defend 
ourselves from the evil one that 
prowls about like a roaring lion.  

We, like the psalmist, need to beg 
for God’s mercy.  “Turn again, 
O Lord of hosts, attend to this vine.”
If we’re not careful, the kingdom 
will be taken away from us, 
as it was in the Gospel, and 
given to a people that will produce 
its fruit.  (Matthew 21: 43)
We,  like the Israelites, need 
to be restored.  The Psalm's
verses pray, “Give us new life,  
and we will call on your name.”

Where does our hope for revival come from?
It comes from our Savior, 
sent by the Lord, our cornerstone, 
“The son of man whom God himself 
made strong.”
In Him we are restored. 
As the Psalm says, “Lord of hosts 
restore us; let your face shine 
upon us, that we may be saved.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm says, “Lord, take care of this vine; then we will no more withdraw 

from you.  Give us new life, and we will call upon your name.”  Have you noticed 
at times when we stray off His path how the Lord tugs at each of us so that 
we return to His ways.   Give an example from your own experience.

2.  Our psalmist is writing about the scattered people of Israel, but his words may 

apply to each of us in our separation from God.   In what way are you inspired by the 
Psalm's verses to repent and seek renewal?