Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Psalm for Sunday, November 23, 2014


Psalm 23:  1-2, 2-3, 5-6  (Read)
“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?


  1. Marie7:17 PM

    He has been carrying me and filling all my needs since Ken went to be with Him. He truly is my Shepherd, and He is protecting me from all harm. I have no fear of my future because I know it will be with Him, just a continuation of what is now. I have been staying close to Him through the bible study and can't help but remember the day we asked you to do the reflection on the Psalms at our bible study. Your reflections are very powerful because they draw in all the readings. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  2. Rudy H7:20 PM

    How to stay on the right side of God.

    The big issues here are foundation, motivation, and consistency. If our foundation is the Bible, and if our motivation is being like Christ, and if we consistently seek to live like Christ, then we know that Jesus covers our sins, and we are still right with God and standing on his right side. However, if we say that we know God, and yet do not consistently seek to live like Christ by obeying Him (that is, we continue to “walk in darkness”) God says that we are liars and the truth is not in us.

    Thus, if we make a decision to accept Christ, we must understand that it means a lifetime commitment toward seeking to be like Jesus in the way that we live. This is what “staying right with God” is all about—becoming more like Jesus!

  3. I am struck by fear at the thought that, potentially, I could be cast aside on the left of the Lord... with the unwanted goats. I pray not. What makes the sheep good? Their obedience to the Shepherd's commands.

    As I study this week's readings as a whole, one message is loud and clear: I must be an active believer, whose behavior reflect her beliefs. I adore my quiet time with the Lord and our relationship is one of comfort and strength. That should lead me to the next step, which is one of outreach. Being a vessel of his light. Being a part of tangible acts of compassion in our world.

    I am reminded of James 2:17... faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. I know this is a challenge area for me. The picture has changed a little. I used to be called to help others in an emotional, spiritual way, through Catechism, Bible Study, school prayer groups, and the like. Lately, I am feeling the call to be the "hands and feet of Jesus" -- to offer material and physical blessings to those in need. I have resolved to find more opportunities to be face to face with those who literally need food, drink, clothing, and Jesus.