Monday, April 18, 2016

Good Shepherd Sunday

Yesterday was Good Shepherd Sunday. At Church of the Good Shepherd (Raleigh NC), in keeping with our parish name, there was complete alignment...from our massive stained glass window above the altar to the "shepherd" introit, anthem and three hymns, to our chant of the 23rd Psalm. (A favorite hymn: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need)

That grand window is my prayer prompt, my rosary, for Sunday mornings. I substitute the names of family members for the sheep in Jesus' arms and at his feet. I know Christ has a watchful eye and firm grip on my lambs. It is an image - and a belief - that gives me great comfort on Sundays. For me, every Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday.

Praying with Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

Good Shepherd, Infuse me with faith, add trust, then confidence.

He refreshes my soul.

Let me be stubbornly optimistic, wasting no time with worry.

He guides me along the right paths.

Let me resist jealously, self-pity, retribution and the urge to criticize or gossip.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

Let me repel fear...from the storms of nature and the storms of life...from foreign terrorism and local politics.

My cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.

Let me be fearless. Give me courage. Make me brave. Cloaked in kindness, good humor and grace. 

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.