The following reflections are provided for individual or communal reflection in preparation for praying the Liturgy of the Hours.
Psalm 92 -> Deuteronomy 32:1-12 -> Psalm 8
This morning we are invited to give God praise for the hope we are given as we place the day ahead of us into his loving hands.
We are invited to consider all the works of the Lord and give Him praise, which allow us to sustain our hope against any struggles we may face in the day ahead (Psalm 92). A very helpful reflection as we prepare to close out another week. How has God worked in our past week through answered prayers and positive experiences?
As we reflect on Deuteronomy 32:1-12, we are invited to offer praise as we reflect on God’s ever-enduring faithfulness to us. Just as God has been faithful to us in the past week, He will be faithful to us in the new week ahead. Even though we have at times turned from Him, God has never turned away from us.
If we find at any part of the day that we doubt God’s love and faithfulness to us, Psalm 8 invites us to look no further than all of His works which span the heavens and earth and everything in between. All layers of creation speak to his majesty (Psalm 8). We can almost hear Christ say, “look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” (Matthew 6:26-28). When was the last time we experienced creation and how did it help us encounter God (e.g., a walk through a forest or a trip to the ocean)?
Consider this quote by Saint Augustine in his Confessions: “the heavens, the earth, and everything that is in them, all these things tell me to love you” (Confessions 10, 6). How does your own encounter with creation stir your heart and mind away from the distractions of the world back towards love and trust in God?
Evening Prayer I (Of Sunday Week III)
Psalm 113 -> Psalm 116:10-19 -> Philippians 2:6-11
Tonight’s psalmody focuses on God’s divine care and preferential option for the poor and afflicted.
Psalm 113 invites us to rediscover the God who is high above all yet has stooped down to save the lowly and afflicted through Jesus Christ. When was a time when we last felt poor, lowly, or afflicted? How has God stepped down to aid us in the past?
Psalm 116 invites us to reflect on the steadfastness and trustworthiness of God. If we struggle to trust that God sees and understands our present afflictions, we need to look no further than how He has worked in the past and re-commit ourselves to following Him in the present. As we approach Sunday, how has God’s fidelity in the past invited us to a greater level of trusting devotion to Him in the week ahead? As we attend Mass this Sunday, can we say with the psalmist, “my vows to the Lord I will fulfill?”
Philippians 2:6-11 reminds us of the solidarity our Lord has chosen to have with us through Jesus Christ. The Lord relates to us in our times of poverty, being oppressed, feeling lost, experiences of brokenness, etc. Does our own Lord’s experience of being human (like us in all things but sin) help us trust Him with our own experiences? How might Jesus’ own humility, death, and resurrection invite us to step down from our own lofty positions of privilege to help the poor, lowly, and afflicted of our day?