Monday, March 27, 2023

Psalm for Sunday, April 2, 2023


“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

David writes this psalm almost 
as though these verses are to be 
part of the Passion of Christ.  
The psalm even becomes the
prayer of Christ at the time 
of His crucifixion and speaks 
of the suffering that our Savior 
experiences on our behalf. 

People are the same today as they 
were back then, when Jesus was being 
led to the cross.  We scoff at Him; 
we mock Him; we wag our heads; 
and hurl insults at Him.

Why?   Because He became sin; He took our
sins upon himself and become contemptible
in our eyes.  He reminds us that we are a sinful
people; He convicts us; He catches us in the lie; 
He embarrasses us; He exposes us; He accuses
us  of being hypocrites.  The truth hurts!  We who
are mired in the pit take a  perverse delight in
seeing our Lord suffer for our sake.

Christ holds us to a higher standard; He remains
above sin; He speaks directly to God; He claims
to be God's Son; and we reject Him for this; and
mock Him. We do not move to assist Him;
let God rescue Him.

As our psalmist says, “He relied on the Lord –
let God  deliver him; let God rescue him, if He
loves him.”   These are the same words used by
those who  conspired against Jesus when He was
dying on the cross. They did not realize that the
suffering and death of an innocent servant would
restore life for sinful man. The words they spoke
were to be fulfilled, not by Jesus coming down from
the cross, but by sinful humanity like us being
delivered, forgiven, and lifted up with God’s Son.

We are reminded by St Paul in today's second reading
that Christ takes the form of a slave, obedient even to death
for our sake. (Philippians 2:7)  And the prophet Isaiah in our
first reading  speaks about the Messiah long before his birth
and predicts that He will be beaten and His beard will be
plucked. (Isaiah 50:6)   But the suffering servant does not rebel
(as Isaiah tells us).  He knows that He will not be put to shame. 
The Father is not far off, even when Jesus lies hanging on the cross.

We know that what seemed like a moment of weakness for Christ
became a source of strength for the rest of us.  As our psalmist says,
“You Lord do not stay far off; my strength, come quickly to help me.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist says, "All who see me scoff at me."  Are you one  of those 
who mocked Christ?   Can you identify with those who wagged their heads 
and shouted, "Let God deliver him; let God rescue him."   Explain.

2.  The verses of the Psalm are a plea to the Lord, "Be not far from me;  
O my help, hasten to aid me."   Give an example of a time when you have 
called out to God to hurry and rescue you.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Psalm for Sunday, March 26, 2023


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, as St Paul says in Sunday's 2nd reading (Romans 8:8)
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. (Ezekiel 37:12-14)

That same Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, and St Paul 
tells us the Spirit of God will give life to our mortal bodies also. (Romans 8:11)
This is that  “full redemption” the psalmist talks about that is
later made real to us in the Gospel story of Lazarus. (John 11:1-45)
And so we too have come to believe and revere our Lord, 
as happened in the Gospel among the Jews in Bethany.  
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 will seek out God's mercy during 
this Lenten season.

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

Tell what this means to you as you prepare for the coming of Easter.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Psalm for Sunday, March 19, 2023


Psalm 23:  1-3, 3-4, 5, 6   (Read)

“The Lord is my shepherd.”

We are like sheep, and we look 
to the Good Shepherd to lead us 
beside still waters, and guide us 
along the right paths.  We fear 
no harm, because the Good 
Shepherd is at our side.  
Where else should we turn?

Our Lord restores us when we are 

down, protects us with his rod and 
his staff when we are threatened.  
We lack nothing when we trust in 
the Lord.  We fear nothing, even 
when our lives are at a low point 
spiritually or physically.

Our eyes are opened by our trust in the Lord;
we are led out of the dark valley of sin where 

we did fruitless things in secret.  Like our psalmist 
King David, we are anointed with oil by the Lord,
and we make a covenant with Him.

Our trust in the Lord is rewarded.  He sends His Son 

to save us, and His Spirit to live within us.  Surely 
goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our life.

“I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
The promise that King David speaks of in his final days 

is what Jesus died for.  Jesus reconciles us with the 
Father, and when Jesus is raised up, we too are resurrected.

Having been rescued by our Savior, and now counted 

among His obedient sheep, we are ready to do His will.
We are groomed to enter the Kingdom and to sit at the 

table that God sets for us.  If we believe in Him, we too 
shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.   Our Psalm speaks of the Lord as our Shepherd. Do you believe 

you are one of His sheep?  What does it mean to be counted among His flock?

2.  Our psalmist says that the Lord anoints his head with oil.  Are you one of 

the Lord's anointed?   Describe how the Lord is using you as one of His anointed.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Psalm for Sunday, March 12, 2023


“We are the people God 
shepherds, the flock He guides.”

The Psalm is a call to praise 
the Lord and to obey Him. 
We are cautioned not to 
'harden our hearts' as the 
Israelites did at Meribah. 
We are not to test the Lord 
as our spiritual ancestors 
tested the Lord 'as in the day 
of Massah in the desert.'  
After all, we are 'God’s well 
tended flock.' 

Our Lord is a good shepherd, and we 
are His sheep. As St Paul tells us in 
today's second reading,  the love of 
God is 'poured out into our hearts 
through the holy Spirit.' (Romans 5:5)
Knowing that, we should 'bow down 
in worship, kneel before the Lord 
who made us,'  as the Psalm says.
And when we humble ourselves
and open our hearts to the Lord, 
we are set free. We are no longer
constrained by the things of this world, 
and we can be open to His love and 
His teachings. 

Today's Gospel  affirms that Our Lord Jesus 
is our savior, and just as the life of the Samaritan
woman at the well was transformed by the words 
of Jesus, we too can be transformed, if we truly 
listen to the Lord.  Not only will He tell us 
'everything we ever did,' but He will give us 
that living water which quenches our spiritual 
thirst. (See John 4: 5-42)

At that point our hearts will no longer be hardened.
We will 'bow down in worship,' and as our psalmist
says, we will greet our Lord with a song of praise.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist encourages us not to harden our hearts if we hear God's voice.  D
o you find it difficult sometimes to carry out God's will in your life even if you believe He is speaking to you?   Give an example.

2.  The psalm reminds us that we are like sheep and the Lord is our shepherd.  
Are you willing to be just an ordinary sheep  among His flock?  If so, what does it mean to you to be shepherded by the Lord?

Monday, February 27, 2023

Psalm for Sunday, March 5, 2023



“The eyes of the Lord are upon those who
fear Him, to deliver them from death.”

The Psalm is praise for God’s providence,
the blessings He gives us. “The Lord fills 
the earth with goodness. His works are 

We may not have the faith of Abraham 
(Genesis 12:1-4), but we can be sure 
the Lord’s eyes are upon us – “The 
Lord’s eyes are upon those who hope 
for His gracious help.” As our psalmist 
says, “O Lord, we have put our hope 
in you.”

In Sunday's 2nd reading, St Paul says 
that God has saved us and called us to 
a holy life.  (2 Timothy 1:9)
The Psalmist confirms this – “We are 
delivered from death, kept alive in times 
of famine.” We may not be starving for 
physical food, but we could face spiritual 
death from sin if we were not saved by 
our Lord Jesus.

“The eyes of the Lord are upon those 
who fear Him, to deliver them from death.”
Remember, the wages of sin is death, and 
we are all afflicted.  Fortunately for us, 
Christ destroyed death and brought life, 
as St Paul says (2 Timothy 1:10),
so it is natural that we openly ask for His 
help and His protection.   He is our shield 
in the spiritual battle that we all have to fight.   
“Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help 
and our shield.”

If we trust in the Lord, His eyes will be upon 
us so long as we count ourselves among 
those who fear Him, and we can expect 
to receive His grace. 

Through His goodness we can expect a 
transfiguration of our own, and that same light 
which shone from Jesus' face that day on 
Mt Tabor can be a source of light for us 
and those around us. “We have put our hope 
in you, O Lord.”


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  As our psalmist says, the Lord's eyes are upon us, and that is a good thing 
because of His saving grace.  Speak of how you depend on God's providence 
to preserve you as you go about your daily life amidst the world's attractions.

2.  The Psalm assures us that God's love and mercy will be granted to us, as we 
place our trust in Him.  Give an example of how you have trusted in the Lord and how you have benefited from His kindness.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Psalm for Sunday, February 26, 2023

         (By J. Kim) 

Psalm 51: 3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17   (Read)

“A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me”

We are all born of a sinful nature.
Just as Adam and Eve fell to temptation 
in the Garden of Eden (this Sunday’s first 
reading, Genesis 3: 1-7), so too has God's 
chosen one (King David) fallen.
David, our psalmist,  is sincerely sorry for 
committing adultery and murder, two 
gravely  sinful acts which separate him
from our loving Father.

But God in his compassion and goodness 

can blot out David's offense, no matter how grave. 

David’s sins, like our own, are offensive to God
first and foremost – “Against you alone have
I sinned.”

David cries out to be rescued from his fate,
to be saved from death, which is a consequence
of his sins. David’s verses are a prayer of
repentance and recall for us the power of the
Sacrament of Confession. “A clean heart create
for me, O God; and a steadfast spirit renew
within me. Give me back the joy of your salvation.”
His words are prophetic and speak of God’s grace
that becomes available through Christ’s gift of
justification (Sunday's second reading, Romans 5: 15-19).

Our psalmist pleads with the Lord, "Have mercy on me, 

O God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion 
blot out my offense."    We are reminded here that no 
sin is too big for God to forgive.   And when we do fall 
into deep patterns of sin, we must realize that our 
wrongdoing isn't only against other people, but ultimately, 
it's rebellion against the Lord himself. "Against you alone 
have I sinned,"  is how David acknowledges this fact.  

God wants to have a close relationship with us, but 
unconfessed sin will always get in the way. We must 
not only confess our sins openly and sincerely, but 
we must work at "restoring the joy of salvation” in 
our hearts. 

Once we have rebuilt a solid foundation with God the Father,
no strong assault from Satan will penetrate.  We can have 
that very same "steadfastness of spirit" that David asks 
for in the Psalm and that Jesus displays in the Gospel.


Discussion Questions for Reflection

1.  Our psalmist calls upon the Lord to renew within him a 'steadfast spirit.'  

Give an example of how our God has done a work in you so that you can  carry

your cross with endurance, trusting in God's strength.

2.  The Psalm's verses speak of how we offend God by our sins and separate
ourselves from His loving presence.   Tell of how, with the help of God's grace,
you are able to obtain a right relationship with the Lord, and regain the
'joy of your salvation.'

Monday, February 13, 2023

Psalm for Sunday, February 19, 2023


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.