A Sunday School teacher decided to have her Second Grade class memorize Psalm 23, “The Lord is My Shepherd.” Bobby was excited, but he wasn’t very good at memorizing. After much practice, his turn came to recite Psalm 23 before the congregation. The teacher was nervous. He stepped up to the microphone and proudly announced, “The Lord is my Shepherd—and…and…–and that’s all I need to know!”
In one phrase, Bobby captured the whole meaning: “The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I lack.” These words touch so many of us deeply. If we have trouble or fear, darkness and death and sickness, Jesus has our back—Jesus restores our strength, anoints my head with oil. To sum it up, the genuine meaning of Psalm 23 means, “God’s companionship transforms every situation.”
What does “God’s companionship” mean? Rappers have their peeps, sports stars have their crowds…but the companionship of God must be something different. The apostles were busy with “people coming and going” so Jesus calls them to rest in God’s companionship when he says, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
We all need a time of quiet listening, away from the noise and the crowds, in order to feel God comforting us as a companion and a shepherd. Have you felt God’s care lately? Or do you take your work with you, work too late at night, and fall exhausted into bed? If so—you do indeed need the Shepherd to help you set priorities. Taking time to really LIVE your life will make you and everyone you love healthier and happier.
Thursday, July 26, is the Feast of Saints Anne and Joachim, Grandparents of Jesus. Joachim and Anne serve as great examples of faith for all married couples, parents, and grandparents. Like several Biblical couples, they had difficulty conceiving a child. As time was running out, they desperately prayed to God to grant them a child. By strong faith and patience, God granted them their daughter Mary. St. Anne and St. Joachim are the patron saints of grandparents and infertile couples……Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Listen to Sr. Thérese’s reflective reading of today’s Gospel:
Joyfully in the Lord,
A Prayer to St. Joachim and St. Anne
Dear parents of the Virgin Mary, grandparents of our Savior Jesus Christ, bless all parents and grandparents and help them teach their children Christian values of faith and compassion. Bestow courage and hope upon couples who struggle to start their families. Guide new parents and bless parents of growing children with strength and understanding. And bless grandparents with wisdom and kindness.
We thank you for the example you set for us with your daughter Mary and grandson Jesus, and we strive to show the same love to our children and grandchildren.
May the strong foundation of faith you laid for Mary and her son Jesus always inspire us to guide our children and all future generations in their faith journeys with love and support. In God’s name we pray. Amen.
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish