“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.
In our 1st 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
Our Lord is the King of kings, and when He
sits on His glorious throne, He will separate
the sheep from the goats. And the King will say
to His sheep, “Come, inherit the kingdom prepared
for you.” Our Lord stands by us in the victory over death.
Our psalmist David says it this way, “You prepare
a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
He 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.”
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?