Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

This evening let’s do a quick through one of the most popular of all the Psalms, the Psalm 23[1].

The Lord is my shepherd. God wants to direct our lives. Jesus felt so bad for the people in today's Gospel because they had no one to shepherd them. He mourns also for us. The world can be a confusing place. Life can be confusing. Governments like those mentioned in the first reading, often demand that people violate their consciences for what they claim in the greater good. Historically, this has always resulted in the people participating in hidden, immoral agendas. We witnessed this happening the last century with the two extremes of fascism and communism. But what should we do when confronted with what is presented as a small moral sacrifice for what is claimed to be a greater moral good? We need a shepherd to direct us. We have one. The Lord is our shepherd. We should follow God. Right is right and wrong is wrong. We have to let God direct our lives, not politicians. This will protect us from taking the steps that would lead to great evil.

I shall not want. God provides that which we really need in life: a reason for being alive. Following our conscience leads us to rest in Christ, at peace with God, at peace in our inner worlds. Those are the restful waters where He leads us. United with Him, we are who we were meant to be, unique reflections of the image and likeness of God.

He restores our souls. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that we should be perfect as His Heavenly Father is Perfect. How can we be perfect? We are human, we are frail!...

And though I walk through the valley of death, I fear no evil. Yes there are continual challenges in life. In fact, the present life is just a part of the totality of our lives. Here, we are in the valley of death. We are mortal. We become sick and die. Worse, our loved ones die. Still, through all the pain, the suffering and the sorrow, we ultimately trust in God. You are with me, the Psalm proclaims. He is. He guides us with His rod and staff. We are comforted with knowing that whatever happens, the Lord is in charge. He will take care of us. In fact, even when others attack us for our devotion to Him, when others mock us for our faith, even when other Catholics deride us for our determination to live what we profess, even when others mock us because we are not afraid to say what we pray, God will win out. God always wins. Jesus Christ is the Victor. Those who oppose us because we live our faith will eventually witness God's caring for us at the banquet of His Love.

He sets a table before me in the face of my foes. Psalm 23 ends with the great promise: Live united to the Lord and you will experience his goodness and kindness in this life and union with Him in the next life. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

So often we sing this Psalm. So often we pray this Psalm. Today, with the help of the Spirit of God let us resolve to live this Psalm •



[1] 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time (B), July 19, 2015. Readings: Jeremiah 23:1-6; Responsorial Psalm 23:1-3, 3-4, 5; Ephesians 2:13-18; Mark 6:30-34.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris