Saturday, February 9, 2019

"The Lord is My Shepherd; there is nothing I shall want"

In today's first reading, Hebrews 13: 15-17, 20-2, Paul prays for us as follows: May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the Blood of the eternal covenant, furnish  you with all that is good, that  you may do his will, May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."

Let that prayer  be ours for each of our family members, our relatives, those serving us in our government--our president, members of congress, our governors and mayors--those in the military, in teaching and medical professions, in financial institutions, our priests and ministers, our bankers and all service entities. "Furnished with all that is good" empowers us to be doers of good deeds, as was Jesus, our Good Shepherd!  May each of us be given the graces we need to be loyal disciples of Jesus and who, like Jesus, carry out the will of His Father and ours!

In today's responsorial psalm, Psalm 23, we pray as follows:  "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want."  Nothing! Absolutely nothing!  If I truly believed that, would I fret about the coming day or an event that weighs heavily upon me?  Would young parents, no matter how the child was  conceived, ever, ever think of killing that child in the mother's womb, if each or one of them believed: "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want"? Would a desperate breadwinner resort to committing theft, if he/she prayed: "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want." Would anyone resort to deception, corruption, or any kind of criminal activity if he/she believed this prayer?

To nurture and deepen our faith in the Good Shepherd, to be unshaken in our belief that God will "furnish us with all that is good that [we] may do his will," and that, given that Jesus is Shepherd who looks after us, "there is nothing [we] shall lack" nor or in the future, underscore the importance of stepping aside from our busyness each day to commune with the Lord!  In today's Gospel, Mark 6: 30-34, Jesus says to His disciples, after a busy day: "Come away by yourselves to  deserted place and rest a while."  In another scripture, Matthew 11: 28-30, Jesus says to us:  "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  Let us do that if only for 5-10 minutes each day, opening the Bible, for instance, to one's favorite psalm, letting God know that you need His help to stay focused on Him and not obsess about your problems!   Problems come and go; God stands firm forever at our right and left side, holding us by the hand, waiting for us to notice Him!

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