Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Psalm for Sunday, July 1, 2018


Psalm 30: 2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13    (Read) 

"I praise you Lord, for you raise me up;
you kept me from going down into the pit.”

God is in the business of healing, as our 
first reading says. (Wisdom 1:13)
God did not make death, nor does He rejoice
in the destruction of the living.
“His divine favor lasts a lifetime.”
Just as Jairus' daughter is saved from death
in this Sunday's Gospel (Mark 5:41-42), 
we too are able to be saved from going down 

into the pit.  We too are eligible for a spiritual 
resurrection if our faith is strong.

We may be rebuked by God for disobeying Him.
We are, after all, his wayward children,
and He loves us as a Father loves his own.
God's compassion and mercy are with us not 

only in this life, but in eternity.  “Divine anger lasts
but a moment; divine favor lasts a lifetime.”

Our Lord Jesus himself was raised up from the pit

by the Father, even though Jesus bore the weight 
of our sins.  God’s anger over the sins of all men
that Christ took upon himself, lasted but a moment.

The joy of resurrection comes to us at dawn, after a

terrible night, as it came to those early followers of
our Savior.  “At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.”  And that alone is reason 

enough to change our “mourning into dancing,”
“to clothe us with gladness.”   We are prompted
to “sing endless praise to the Lord.”
“O Lord, my God, forever will I give you thanks.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist praises God for having rescued him and brought 

him 'up from the netherworld.'   Tell about how you have been saved 
from your enemies, the devil and his companions.

2.  The Psalm says that the anger of the Lord lasts but a moment.   

Have you been rebuked by the Lord? If so, what did you learn from this, 
and in what way are you grateful for being corrected by the Lord?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Psalm for Sunday, June 24, 2018


"Truly you have formed my inmost being."

Our psalmist David tells us
that there is no way to hide 
from God, who is all knowing,
and who is present to us always.

David says later in the Psalm,
“Where can I hide from your 
spirit?  From your presence, 
where can I flee?”
There really is no need for us
to run away from the Lord.
His presence within us draws us 
closer to Him.  There is no reason 
for anxiety just because He knows 
all our inner secrets
(“With all my ways you are familiar.”)

In fact his presence is merely to confirm
that we have a share in His divinity,
After all, God is the one
“Who knit us in our mother's womb.”
He is our Creator, so why would we run from Him? 
On the contrary, we are drawn to Him,
and we are led by Him along right paths.

“Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.”
When we hear these words,
we are reminded that John the Baptist
leaps in his mother's womb
when Mary visits Elizabeth.
John heralds the coming of Christ
even while he remains in the depths
of his mother’s womb.
Surely John the Baptist was
wonderfully made and so much of what
our psalmist says seems fit to apply to John.

As for us, truly the Lord is familiar
with all our ways; he knows our soul full well,
and he knows our frame as well.
Just as the hand of God was with John
from the moment of his conception,
so the Lord has a plan for each of us as well.

We are wonderfully made because the Lord
wouldn't have it any other way.
He equips us to do his work;
to be a light to our families and our communities;
to preach the Gospel and 'when necessary use words.'

We may not all be headed for a sojourn
in the desert, but the Lord knows
when we sit and when we stand;
He scrutinizes our journeys,
and He has made us for a purpose.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalm response is, "I praise you, for I am wonderfully made."  Do you believe 

that you are created by God to do His will, that you are made for a purpose?  Explain.

2.  Our psalmist says, "O Lord, you have probed me, you know me."  We cannot hide 

anything from our God; He is familiar with all our ways.  Are you convicted by these 
words?  Are there sins you commit that you would prefer to keep in the dark, or on a side porch, away from God's knowledge?  In what way are you grateful for the scrutiny of the Lord?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Psalm for Sunday, June 17, 2018

Reflections (by J Kim)

Psalm 92: 2-3, 13-14, 15-16   (Read)

"Lord, it is good to give thanks to you."

Displaying an attitude of gratitude.  Sending 
thank-you note.  Saying your "please 
and thank you’s.”   Such are lessons we 
teach our children as we train them in 
what is socially proper.  If only we would 
spend as much time considering what is 
proper in the spiritual sense.

God our Creator is all-deserving and worthy 

of our praise.  A well-known prayer guide 
pinpoints five essential elements of prayer.  
Adoration, Confession, Petition, and 
Intercession, are ALWAYS followed by 
Thanksgiving.  Psalm 92:1 is often quoted 
in support:  "It is good to give thanks to the 
Lord, to sing praise to your name, Most High."

Also to be noted is the use of the word "sing" in that first verse.
The Lord loves to hear our voices in song.  Thus, hymns of any 

sort are an integral part of worship.  Something about singing 
focuses our hearts on Jesus and softens his heart to accept 
our prayerful pleas.

Our Abba Father gives us our days in 24 hour increments.
Could we handle any more?  His grace is enough for each day;
the psalmist writes, "It is good to proclaim your kindness at dawn
and your faithfulness throughout the night."

The cedar of Lebanon is a mighty and beautiful tree referenced
throughout Scripture.  In this Sunday's first reading, a small cedar 

shoot is replanted and compared to a "majestic cedar" as it grows 
strong with its roots  firmly planted. (Ezekiel 17:22-23)  The Psalm 
says, “The just one shall flourish like the palm tree, like a cedar of 
Lebanon shall he grow."

Later, the psalmist writes, "They shall bear fruit even in old age;
vigorous and sturdy shall they be."  Living in a righteous manner, 

with the foundations of our beliefs firmly rooted, we too are called
to have the strength and fruitfulness of the cedar, even unto the
very end of our earthly lives.  


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  "Lord, you are holy indeed.  It is right to give you thanks and praise."
These are familiar words to any Mass-goer.   How do you sincerely give thanks
to the Lord in your daily life?

2.  How can you become more like the upright palm tree or the majestic and 

firmly-rooted Lebanese cedar?  Do others see you as a just and righteous person
through your everyday speech and actions?  What can you change about 

yourself so that you, too, can "bear fruit even in old age?"    

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Psalm for Sunday, June 10, 2018


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.  
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 sacrifice 
of the Son of God for our sins?  “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 –  “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.

That same Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and will 

give life to our mortal bodies too.  This is that  
“full redemption” the psalmist talks about.

And so we too have come to believe and revere our Lord, 

as did the early believers.

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 are seeking out God's mercy.

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

Tell what this means to you.