Responding To The Psalms

October 2022


– a project of the Spirituality Committee of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

In a psalm, instruction vies with beauty. We sing for pleasure. We learn for our profit.
What experience is not covered by a reading of the psalms?
I come across the words:
A song for the beloved, and I am aflame with desire for God’s love. I go through God’s revelation in all its beauty, the intimations of resurrection, the gifts of his promise. I learn to avoid sin. I see my mistake in feeling ashamed of repentance for my sins

from The Explanations of the Psalms by Saint Ambrose –

We have used the Sunday Responsorial psalm to offer a focus for reflection during the week ahead for yourself or share with others.
There is space on each page for you to note your own thoughts as a possible personal journal.

2 October – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 94(95):1-2,6-9

This psalm calls us to our central purpose to worship the all powerful God who graciously cares for us so intimately as his people. We are reminded that still so often people have still turned their backs on this loving God.

O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’

Come, ring out our joy to the Lord; hail the rock who saves us.

Let us come before him, giving thanks, with songs let us hail the Lord.

Just stop and rejoice at the invitation to ring our joy for the God who saves us. Keep living by giving thanks to God who allows us to come so close to him

Come in; let us bow and bend low;
let us kneel before the God who made us:

for he is our God and we
the people who belong to his pasture, the flock that is led by his hand.

Since our God is a great God let us be truly humble before him
Despite being the God of all power we thank him for his care for us as a shepherd of his people.

O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the desert

when your fathers put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work.’

Like God’s people throughout history let us acknowledge the times we have not been true to him Let’s stop and try to listen more closely to what he is asking of us.


9 October – 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 97(98):1-4

This psalm proclaims the need to praise God for his mighty works to Israel and to all peoples. His care for his people has shown the world his justice at all times. So all people should joyfully or praise him.

The Lord has shown his salvation to the nations.

Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.

His right hand and his holy arm have brought salvation.

We need to recognise how the Lord is daily doing new wonders in our lives. We praise him for the way he keeps us safe in so many ways.

The Lord has made known his salvation; has shown his justice to the nations.

He has remembered his truth and love for the house of Israel.

How do we show the goodness and justice of God to the people of today’s world? How do we recognise God’s truth and love in our own lives?

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth, ring out your joy.

Our faith enables us see God at work, how can we help others share our belief?
Let us pray that by sharing the joy of our faith we can bring all people to praise God.

16 October – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 120(121)

This is a prayer of personal confidence and trust in our God who is with us to protect us, wherever we are, and at every moment of the day and night. It is a song for our journey through life.

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall come my help? My help shall come from the Lord

who made heaven and earth.

We need to acknowledge our human frailty, and simply ask God to be our help at all time. We do this with confidence for this God of ours is the creator of all in whom we trust

May he never allow you to stumble! Let him sleep not, your guard.

No, he sleeps not nor slumbers, Israel’s guard.

Let us pray that this ever present God will help us to avoid those mistakes we make so often. Just try to picture this all seeing God who is always looking out for me/us.

The Lord is your guard and your shade; at your right side he stands.

By day the sun shall not smite you nor the moon in the night.

Stop a moment to feel the presence of God with you on your right hand. Thank God who is with us throughout the day and night for his care for me/us.

The Lord will guard you from evil, he will guard your soul.

The Lord will guard your going and coming both now and for ever.

Thank God for the times you remember he has saved you/us from difficult situations. Ask God to be with you on the rest of your journey through life.

23 October – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 33(34):2-3,17-19,23

This psalm is a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s goodness to us because he recognises those who try to keep faith with him. God looks at each person according to their heart not with worldly values.

This poor man called; the Lord has heard him.

I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise always on my lips;

in the Lord my soul shall make its boast. The humble shall hear and be glad.

Simply take a moment and praise God for being God. Perhaps we don’t do that often enough. May our praise of God help others in their prayer.

The Lord turns his face against the wicked
to destroy their remembrance from the earth.

The just call and the Lord hears
and rescues them in all their distress.

Pray for those whose decisions harm other people in different ways, that their hearts may change Pray for those oppressed for defending the truth to be liberated and find peace.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; those whose spirit is crushed he will save.

The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants. Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.

Think of the times you have been down hearted and God has been with you.
Leave any worries or struggles you have at the moment in the hand of the God you trust.

30 October – 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 144(145):1-2,8-11,13b-14

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth and the accession of King Charles was a moment when people thought of kingship in a very solemn way. This is a very different understanding of kingship but calls us to consider how we as God’s people act and think together beyond normal day to day events. For us it is looking to the eternal

I will bless your name for ever, O God my King.

I will give you glory, O God my king, I will bless your name for ever.

I will bless you day after day and praise your name for ever.

Pray the ‘Glory be to the Father’ slowly, ponder each word: for God is king. Reflect on how much time you give to God each day in prayer.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love.

How good is the Lord to all, compassionate to all his creatures.

Thank God for times he has been kind, loving and compassionate in your own life. How will you show God’s love, compassion and kindness to those around you?

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord, and your friends shall repeat their blessing.

They shall speak of the glory of your reign and declare your might, O God.

Pray for the people with whom you pray, celebrate Mass, talk about God.
Think about how you can draw more people to know the glory and might of God.

The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds.

The Lord supports all who fall
and raises all who are bowed down.

How do you imitate God’s faithfulness in your promises and his love in your actions? Pray for all you know who are struggling and ask God to pick them up.