Monday, February 25, 2019

Psalm for Sunday, March 3, 2019

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 
a 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. A small cedar 
shoot is replanted and 

compared to a "majestic cedar" as it grows strong 
with its roots  firmly planted.  
The Psalm says, 
“The just one shall flourish, 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?"    

Monday, February 18, 2019

Psalm for Sunday, February 24, 2019


Psalm 103:  1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13  (Read)

“The Lord redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.”

Our psalmist sings the praises of a divine 
and loving God, who surrounds us with 
compassion, pardons our sins, heals our ills.
He nurses no lasting anger; He has not dealt 
with us as our sins deserve.  Our duty is 
to remain faithful to the Lord, and to treat 
His anointed ones with love and compassion, 
as He would do.

This Sunday's Gospel teaches a powerful and 
difficult lesson – We are to be merciful to our 
enemies by imitating the Father.  The Psalm 
tells us how, by being “Merciful and gracious, 
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.”

Who can love their enemies, and do good to them?
It will be difficult if we allow our earthly nature 
to rule us.  Just as “God has not dealt with us 
as our sins merit,” so must we imitate God and 
have compassion on those we would typically 
want to condemn.

We cannot imitate God without a share in Christ’s 
divinity, and in turn being empowered by the holy 
Spirit within us.  Only then will we have the kind 
of compassion the psalmist speaks about,  “As a 
father has compassion on his children, so the Lord 
has compassion on the faithful.”

If we love the Lord, it will show in our hearts, and 
the old things will then pass away.  The Psalm says 
it well:  “As far as the east is from the west, 
so far has He put our transgressions behind us.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalm speaks of a loving and compassionate God,
who does not deal with us according to our sins.   Are you able
to treat those who have harmed you in the same way?  Explain.

2.  The verses of the Psalm remind us of the power of the
Sacrament of Reconciliation, "As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He put our transgressions behind us."  Relate how the
Sacrament works for you to put your sins behind you.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Psalm for Sunday, February 17, 2019


Image result for the Beatitudes
"Blessed are they who trust in the Lord."

The Psalm sets before us 
life choice, God or 
nothingness, righteous or 
sinfulness, self reliance or 
trust in God, good or evil, 
wickedness or love.  Those 
who deaden their conscience 
for their own ends have no 
other future but ruin.  

The righteous are blessed,
for they are separated from sin.  The righteous are able to stand fast and enhance their spiritual life.  
The wicked are completely 
powerless spiritually for they are 
like chaff that is borne away even by 
the slightest breeze.  

How do the righteous obtain their strength 
in the midst of evil?   They meditate on God's 
law day and night, they delight in the law of the 
Lord.  What does this mean for us?   We are to 
keep God’s word in front of us, use scripture 
as a guide to how we should live our lives.  
Scripture is an instrument of God, and when 
we pray to God he will answer us in the pages 
of the Bible. 

In Sunday’s first reading Jeremiah says, 
“Cursed is the one who puts his trust in 
human beings, whose heart turns away 
from the Lord.  Blessed is the one who 
trusts in the Lord.”   However we seek the 
fellowship of other men, we should 
not put our trust in them.  

When we trust in the Lord we become 
well planted and able to weather the storms of life. 
By contrast the wicked have nothing to anchor
them; they are like chaff which the wind drives away.  
They are on their own, whereas the Lord watches over 
the way of the just.  But the way of the wicked vanishes.  

And in Sunday’s Gospel Jesus himself proclaims 
the beatitudes and assures us that He is on the 
side of those who are at present poor, hungry, 
or mourning, or persecuted.  Their only hope is 
in God.  Whereas those who are filled now and 
for whom it is all too easy to forget God are in 
danger of losing all and becoming hungry.
Jesus provides the food which does not run out, the 
drink that does not run dry.  Nothing can disturb us 
if we put our faith in God; nothing can make us happy 
if we turn away from God.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  How do you go about anchoring yourself in God's word in order
to stand fast in the face of the wicked forces that abound?

2.  Speak of how you have trusted in the Lord and how He has 
provided you with strength and happiness.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Psalm for Sunday, February 10, 2019


Psalm 138:  1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8   (Read)

“Forsake not the work of your hands.”

Our psalmist David composed this
prayer with 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 
David's prayers have come at a
critical time, a time when our
psalmist 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 who has given 
the Lord anything that he may be repaid?  
Unworthy as we are, and although the Lord 
is exalted,  He watches over us in our
lowly state.  And thanks be to God, his 

kindness endures forever.  St Paul says 
the same thing in today's 2nd reading, 
“But by the grace of God I am what I am.”
(1 Corinthians 15:10)

Our psalmist reminds us: all God has 

to do is stretch out his right hand, and 
we will be saved.  “You stretch out your 
hand, your right hand saves me.”  
In like manner, in today's Gospel our 

Lord Jesus reaches out to Simon Peter, 
who is empowered to become a true 
apostle and a catcher of men by following 
the Lord.  (Luke 5:10)

Our psalm concludes with a grateful and
affirming theme, showing how Peter
probably felt,  as he fell on his face 

at the feet of the Lord that day by the lake.
“The Lord is with me to the end.
Lord your love endures forever,
never forsake the work of your hands.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist affirms, 'When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.'   Speak of your own experience
when you were in need of the Lord's help to build up your spiritual vigor.

2.  David pleads with God, 'Forsake not the work of your hands.'  As a child 

of God, tell of how you can expect the Lord to love you forever unconditionally.