Monday, November 27, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, December 3, 2017

"Lord, let us see your face and we shall be saved."

The Psalm is a prayer to 
restore Israel, at a time 
when the chosen people 
were scattered and had 
withdrawn from God.

The Psalm is well adapted 
to our prayers during Advent.
We are a people scattered 
and separated from God,
and we await His coming.
Our psalmist makes a direct 
appeal to God to shepherd us,
“Shepherd of Israel listen; 
come to save us.”

“Turn again Lord, attend to this vine.”
The Lord tends to His vineyard.
He protects a shoot planted by His 
right hand, the son of man whom God 
himself made strong.  The coming of 
Christ is intended to revive us, restore 
our strength.  As the Psalm says,
“Then we will not withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon 
your name.”

We all need to be renewed from
time to time when our faith grows 
lukewarm, when our hearts harden 
due to the sins that separate us 
from God.  We, like the Israelites, 
need to beg for God’s mercy, 
to petition the Lord and seek His 
peace, the peace that will guard our 
hearts and minds, and restore us as 
His people.  We are after all,
the work of His hands. (Isaiah 64:7)

Where does our hope for revival 
come from?  It comes from our savior, 
sent by the Lord, our cornerstone.
In Him we are restored.  “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, make us turn to you.' 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 do the Psalm's verses 
encourage you as we begin the season of Advent?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, November 26, 2017


Psalm 23:  1-2, 2-3, 5-6   (Read)

"He guides me in right paths."

This well known psalm is a prayer 
that we offer to our Lord, the Good Shepherd.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”   
We desire to be one of His sheep because He
looks after us and protects us and seeks us
out when we stray.  On the other hand we
do not want to be one of the goats that He
scatters.  Nor do we want to be on the wrong 
side of His judgment when He separates the 
sheep from the goats. 
(See Gospel, Matthew 25: 31-34)

In Sunday’s first reading the prophet Ezekiel tells us --
“The Lord God looks after his scattered sheep.” 
(Ezekiel 34:12)
He brings us back to the sheep-hold
where He will bind up our wounds.
Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd,
and we are drawn to Him, because He offers 
to lead us beside still waters, to grant us peace, 
and to restore us spiritually.

Our Lord Jesus, King of kings, stands by us 
in the victory over death. 
Our psalmist David says it this way, thousands 
of years before the time of Christ,
“You prepare a table before me in the 
presence of my enemies.” 

As the Psalm says, our Lord anoints us; 
He fills our cup so that it overflows.
We are ready to go forth on our own journey 
to discover who we are and how we are to treat others, 
especially the least among us. (Gospel, Matthew 25: 45)
In our journey we learn that, if we really want 
to have eternal life with our Lord, then we must 
become shepherds in our own right, here on earth.

Having been rescued by our Savior, 
and now counted among His obedient sheep, 
and ready to do His will, 
we are groomed to enter the kingdom 
and to sit at the table that God sets for us.
“Surely goodness and mercy 
shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm makes it clear we want to stay on the right side of our 

Good Shepherd; we want to be guided in right paths for His name's sake.  
Explain what you are doing so that you will be placed on His right, and not 
on His left with the goats.

2.  As His good sheep, we are being groomed to do His will.  Our psalmist 

says that our Lord anoints us with oil.  Having been anointed by the Lord, 
how are you carrying out His will within your family and your community?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, November 19, 2017

“Just so will they be blessed 
who fear the Lord.”

The Psalm affirms that 
blessings for we who 
fear the Lord are to be 
found in the recesses 
of our homes, in the 
ordinary joys of family.

The worthy wife is valued 
in the Psalm as a fruitful 
vine because she blesses 
her home and family with 
the gift of her handiwork.  
As in the Gospel she uses 
wisely what is given her as 
her way of obeying the Lord 
and holding Him in awe.  

And if a man walks with the Lord, 
this will be reflected in the way 
he loves his wife.  Because if a man 
cherishes his wife, as ‘flesh of his flesh’ 
and ‘bone of his bones,’ he nourishes 
his relationship with her, as Christ 
nourishes the Church.  And the man’s 
reward is that his wife will be like 
a ‘fruitful vine’ within his house.  
This is how a man is blessed who 
fears the Lord.

As the Psalm says, if we fear the Lord 
and walk in His ways, we will receive 
the blessings of our labor, prosper, 
and grow old gracefully in the company 
of our wife and children.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm assures us that we will be favored by the Lord, 
if we walk in 

His ways.  Speak of how you have been blessed by obeying the Lord and 
holding Him in awe.

2.  Our psalmist tells of a worthy wife who uses wisely what 
she has been 

given.  Give an example of how you have used your God-given talent to serve 
your family or your community.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Psalm for Sunday, November 12, 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 walk away from God and indulge in
sinful practices that separate us from God.
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 thirsted 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.