Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Psalm for Sunday, May 9, 2021


Reflections
 

Psalm 98:  1, 2-3, 3-4   (Read)


“The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.” 











  

“Break into song, sing praise.”
The Lord makes all things new, and we are a new creation, 
the work of His hands.  And so it is right that 
we sing a 'new song' to the Lord, 
who has done marvelous things for us.  

“The Lord has made His salvation known;
in the sight of the nations He has revealed his justice.”
For us this can be about Jesus' victory 
over death and sin, so that we might live. 

And how is salvation obtained? 
How is the victory won? 
It is won by God's Holy arm, 
His son, our Savior Jesus Christ. 
Victory is obtainable for us too, 
if we keep the faith, give thanks to God, and praise Him.  

Our Psalm exclaims,
“All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.”
This verse, and today's 1st reading 
confirm that the gift of the Holy Spirit 
is for us Gentiles too. (Acts 10:44-45)
For we are called to be baptized 
in the name of Christ.   


And as Jesus says in today's Gospel, 
“It was not you who chose me, 
but I who chose you.” (John 15:16)
We too are appointed by Him
to go forth and bear fruit, 
to remain in the love of the Lord,
and to do His will.

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.   Our Psalm Response is, "The Lord has revealed to the nations his 

saving power."  How has the Lord shown his saving power to you personally?

2.   Our Psalm speaks of singing a new song, of singing joyfully to the Lord,
and we are urged to break into song and sing praise.   What is it about your faith 

and the Easter season that makes you want to sing praise to the Lord?



Monday, April 26, 2021

Psalm for Sunday, May 2, 2021


Reflections

  
                                                                                                                                                     
“Let the coming generation be told of the Lord.”














The verses of this Sunday's Psalm are uplifting 
and speak of the promise of salvation --
“The lowly shall eat their fill,” 
(We who are poor in spirit are to live
life abundantly) and,
“May your hearts live forever!”
(We can count on the Lord for salvation.)  

And praying these verses we recall that 
the suffering of the righteous man
has brought about something good 
in our human world.
“All the ends of the earth 
will worship and turn to the Lord.”
“The generations to come
will proclaim to a people yet unborn 
the deliverance you have brought.”
Our hope returns, and we join with 
all the families of nations in giving 
thanks to God, who rules the world 
and dispenses justice.

Jesus says in today's Gospel,  “You can only 
bear fruit if you remain in me.” (John 15:4)
And how do we remain in Him?
The psalm says, “I will fulfill my vows 
before those who fear the LORD.”
(We are to keep His commandments.)

Finally, our psalmist commits that his 
descendants will serve the Lord,
“The generation to come will be told of 
the Lord.”  Here we are inspired by Sunday's 
first reading where Barnabas reports that Saul
spoke out boldly in the name of Jesus. (Acts 9:27)
What better way for us to bear fruit, than to speak 
out boldly for our faith, to our children and 
grandchildren!

“To him my soul shall live.”
The Psalm ends with a reversal of 
the righteous man's condition;
life is restored and the whole world
celebrates his deliverance.
What better Easter message is there than that?
And what more inspiring words for the early
Church as it reaches out to proclaim
the Gospel to the Gentiles.

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist says, "I will fulfill my vows before those who fear the Lord."
Does this verse inspire you to confirm your faith boldly and take up God's praise
in the company of your fellow believers?   Discuss.

2.  The Psalm ends with an uplifting call for us to proclaim the Lord's truth to the next generation.  Describe how you have answered the Lord's call and how you are telling others about God's love.



Monday, April 19, 2021

Psalm for Sunday, April 25, 2021


Reflections
 

Psalm 118:  1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29   (Read)

“The stone rejected by the builders 
has become the cornerstone.”             

                                                                                     

This Sunday's Psalm is an Easter song. 
The psalmist speaks of our savior, our cornerstone.
Our savior is Jesus, and though He appeared 
weak and beaten on the cross, 
He became victorious over death.
The psalmist speaks of that same irony,
“The stone rejected by the builders 
has become the cornerstone.” 

 

The Psalm tells us we are to, “Take refuge in the Lord.”
Though mortals may disappoint us, 
the Lord will not leave us discouraged.
Better to take refuge in the Lord 
than to put one's trust in princes.
Little children know instinctively whom to trust --
they know where the love is coming from.
And we are the same; 
as children of God, we put our trust in the Lord.   
He is the Good Shepherd.
Where else would we turn?
 
 

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.”
It is none other than the Good Shepherd who comes 

in the name of the Lord, to care and protect us sheep.  
(See also Sunday's Gospel, John 10:11-18).
Our calling is only to listen for His voice
and to follow Him. 
Who else knows us as He does, 
or is willing to lay down his life for us?
 
 

The psalm recalls for us 
the paschal mystery of Christ, 
who is crucified, resurrected,
and then exalted as the capstone of our faith.
God has shown his love for his people -- 
Jesus’ risen presence among us
is living proof of God’s enduring love.
Our psalmist confirms this, “God’s love endures forever.”
The Lord’s deliverance is cause for joy.
God’s love is empowering, as the psalm suggests,
This is how we pass from death to life.
 
 

We may not have been 
one of those who saw Christ 
after He rose from the dead, 
but He is no less real to us.
There is no doubt that 
God's divine intervention 
was at work in Christ’s resurrection.  
As the psalmist says, we know that,
“By the Lord has this been done, 
it is wonderful in our eyes.”
 
 

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection
  

1.  Our psalmist reminds us more than once to trust God, not mortals or princes.   
Even though you may not have seen the Lord in person, do you have any difficulty trusting in one you have not seen?   Explain.

2.  The Psalm says, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'   This verse is used
in scripture to welcome Jesus.   Discuss how you have welcomed Jesus into your life.




Monday, April 12, 2021

Psalm for Sunday, April 18, 2021


Reflections



“The Lord does wonders for his faithful one.”


















This Sunday's Psalm is about trust in God.
Our psalmist, David, is filled with desire 
for God's mercy, and invites us to pray, 
“When I call, answer me;
O my just God, hear my prayer.”
David reminds us the Lord works wonders 
for the faithful,
“The Lord does wonders for his faithful one.”

Part of keeping our faith must surely be 
keeping our Lord’s commandments, 
as we are reminded to do in this Sunday's 
second reading,
“Whoever keeps his word, the love of God 
is truly perfected in him.” (1 John 2:5)
What more could we ask for?
Is it necessary that the risen Jesus 
show us his hands and feet,
or that we touch his flesh and bones 
as in Sunday's Gospel?  (Luke 24:39-40)

Our psalmist reminds us it is inside our hearts
where the Lord’s presence does the most good.
“You put gladness into my heart.”
If our hearts are made clean, and our sins 
are forgiven by the Easter sacrifice and 
Resurrection of God’s only Son, 
who or what can stand in our way?

What the Lord Jesus has done for us 
will give rise to action on our part.
For just as the disciples were witnesses
of what came to pass more than 2000 years ago, 
so too are we called to witness for the Lord.
We are called to keep his word, 
and to open our minds, so that we too can
better understand the scriptures. 
We ask the Lord, “Let your face shine on us.”
And then we must go about doing his work!

Amen


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our Psalm Response this week is, "Lord, let your face shine on us." 
What does it mean to you the have the 'light of His countenance' shine 
upon you?

2.  Our psalmist repeatedly petitions the Lord to answer him and 
to hear him.   Have you also prayed as David did for the Lord to hear 
your prayer?   What has been the result?



Monday, April 5, 2021

Psalm for Sunday, April 11, 2021


Reflections



“By the Lord has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.”


Once again we visit this powerful 
psalm of praise and thanksgiving. 
This time the verses stress the 
enduring love that God has for us –
so much so that despite the part 
we played in crucifying his Son, 
God went ahead and carried out 
His plan to save us.  Jesus’ risen 
presence among us is living proof 
of God’s enduring love.
“God’s love endures forever.”

We may be 'hard pressed and 
falling,'  but the Lord comes to 
our help. As the psalmist says, 
the Lord is our strength.  He is 
present to those of us who are
in need of healing,  just as He 
was in those early days of the 
church described by St Luke in 
this Sunday's first reading (Acts 4:33), 
and in Sunday's Gospel  (John 20:19-23)

We may not have the awesome 
experience that St Thomas had when 
he physically put his hand into the 
Lord’s side and his fingers into the 
nail marks on Jesus' hand, 
but our Savior is with us.  

“The Lord has become my savior.”
We are victorious over death.
The Lord’s deliverance is cause 
for joy.  Just when we were down, 
the Lord raises us up.
“I was hard pressed and falling,
but the Lord came to my help.”

“The joyful shout of victory is heard.”
We are on firm ground after all – 
Christ has become our cornerstone, 
as our psalmist reminds us.
Christ has become a source of strength 
for us, despite His apparent weakness 
that day on the cross,
when He died a shameful death.   

Only the Lord could have done this 
remarkable thing:
“By the Lord has this been done; 
it is wonderful in our eyes.”
This is cause for rejoicing --
“This is the day the Lord has made.”
Along with the disciples and the early 
church, “Let us be glad and rejoice in it.”

Amen



Discussion Questions for Reflection 

1.  Our psalmist praises the Lord because the stone that was rejected has 

become our cornerstone.  Why do you think God would permit his Son to 
undergo a shameful death in order to make Jesus the cornerstone of our faith?

2.  Our psalm begins by stressing over and over that the mercy of God endures 

forever, and this Sunday's Response also says, 'His love is everlasting.'  Describe how these verses strengthen your faith and inspire you to trust in the Lord.



Monday, March 29, 2021

Psalm for Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021


Reflections



“This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad.”

Jesus’ risen presence among us
is living proof of God’s enduring love. 
As the psalmist says, “God’s love endures 
forever.”  The Lord’s deliverance is cause
for joy.  Just when we were down, the Lord 
raises us up. The joyful shout of deliverance
is heard. We are on firm ground after all – 
Christ has become our cornerstone.

In the Psalm we read in advance of the 
Paschal Mystery. Christ, who is rejected 
and then exalted, becomes the foundation
stone of the new People of God -- 
“I shall not die, but live and declare the 
works of the Lord.” This is Jesus speaking 
about His own resurrection and about His 
food, which is to do the work of the Father.

The Psalm says, “The right hand of the 
Lord has struck with power; the right hand 
of the Lord is exalted.” Our days of mocking 
our Savior are over; we no longer hurl insults 
at Him. 

Our Savior has risen. “By the Lord has this 
been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.”
“The joyful shout of deliverance is heard in 
the tents of the victors.” The Psalm celebrates 
a great victory over death. This victory is 
delivered by the Lord’s right hand, a clear 
notice in advance of the power of the Son of God.

Our risen Savior has defeated death and the 
grasp that sin has on us. And having been saved,
what are we to do? What is our commission? 
St Peter tells us in today's first reading, “He 
commissioned us to preach to the people and 
testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God.” 
(Acts 10:42)

Christ has become our cornerstone. “The stone 
the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”
Christ has become a source of strength for us, 
despite his apparent weakness that day on the cross, 
when He died a shameful death. Only the Lord 
could have done this remarkable thing:
“This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad.”

Amen

Discussion Questions for Reflection
 
1.  The Psalm speaks of a great victory over death, 'I shall not die, but live.'  
Tell of how you share in Christ's victory over death and what this means to you.

2.  Having been saved from death, the psalmist says he will 'declare the works of 
the Lord.'   Speak of how you are empowered by our Lord's resurrection to go forth 
and proclaim the Gospel.