Monday, November 23, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, November 29, 2020


Reflections


Psalm 80:  2-3, 15-16, 18-19   (Read)

“Lord, make us turn to you, and we shall be saved.”


 

The Psalm is a prayer to restore
Israel, and by extension to restore us,
as a scattered people of God.
The Psalm is well adapted to our
prayer during Advent.  We are a people
scattered and separated from God, and
we await His coming.  He alone can
'make us turn to Him' and convert us.
“Shepherd of Israel, lend an ear;
come to save us.”

Our psalmist makes a direct appeal
to God to shepherd us.   “Turn again
Lord, attend to this vine.”  Just as
the Lord tends to His vineyard, He
protects a shoot planted by His right
hand.  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.”

Where does our hope for revival
come from?  It comes from our Savior,
our cornerstone, sent by the Lord.
In Him we are restored.   “Lord of
hosts restore us; let your face shine
upon us, that we may be saved.”

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.

Amen

 
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 when we feel separated from God.  In what way are you inspired by the Psalm's verses to repent and seek renewal? 



Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, November 22, 2020


Reflections

"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, a thousand
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.”


Amen


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 9, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, November 15, 2020


Reflections




“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.

Amen


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.


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, November 8, 2020


Reflections

Psalm 63:  2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8   (Read)

“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 are away from God and indulge in 
sinful practices that separate us from Him.  
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.

Amen


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.



Monday, October 26, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, November 1, 2020


Reflections


Psalm 24:  1-2, 3-4, 5-6   (Read)

“Who may go up the mountain of the Lord?                                                                      Who can stand in HIs holy place?"











 



This Sunday's Psalm is about a journey to 
a holy place.   It is a place where we will meet 
the Lord.   But we are asked, “Who can ascend 
the mountain of the Lord?  Who may stand in 
His holy place?” 

Our psalmist answers, “The clean of hand and  

pure of heart, who has not given his soul 
to what is vain, such is the people that seeks 
the face of God.”

We are all unworthy to be in the Lord's 

presence, but at least we can cleanse 
ourselves through confession, and bathe 
in the Word.  That is how we show our love 
for the Lord.

Though we may not have to climb a mountain 

to meet the Lord, we must prepare to receive 
Him in our hearts.  The Psalm is guiding us to
prepare ourselves from within, so that we are
made ready to receive Him when He comes.

Amen



Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  The Psalm asks, "Who can go up to the mountain of the Lord?   

How do you prepare yourself to ascend the mountain of the Lord and 
stand in His holy place?

2.  The Response this Sunday is, "Lord, this is the people that longs 

to see your face."   Describe the longing in your heart for our Lord. 



Monday, October 19, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, October 25, 2020


Reflections



“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 
persecutors.

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.

Amen


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?


Monday, October 12, 2020

Psalm for Sunday, October 18, 2020


Reflections
  

Psalm 96:  1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10   (Read)

“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 the 1st 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 today's 
2nd 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!” 

Amen

 


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.