Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection of July 18, 2021

Reflection of July 18, 2021

The Lord is my shepherd -- through the good and bad

Psalm 23 speaks of God's peace, love and   steadfastness

by Sister Rose Jochmann

Sunday's psalm response provided me with the themes I see in the day's readings. The psalm response is from Psalm 23, “The Lord is My Shepherd.” This psalm speaks to me of my “better days” and it is a psalm I return to on my “tough days.” It speaks to me of comfort, rest and refreshment, peace, trust in God.

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus told his apostles to “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Not only that, Jesus “was moved with pity for the crowd, for they were like sheep without a shepherd.” This Gospel is echoed in Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want … beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul.”

The second reading from Ephesians reminds us that Jesus “came and preached peace to those who were far off and peace to those who were near.” Where do I find peace? From Psalm 23: “Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.”

Whether this is a “better day” for you or a “tough day”, pray reflectively our Psalm response. What is God saying to you?

Psalm 23 1-3, 3-4, 5, 6

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
              In verdant pastures he gives me repose.
Beside restful waters he leads me;
              He refreshes my soul.
He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
              I fear no evil; for you are at my side
              With your rod and your staff that give me courage.
You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes;
              You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.
Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life;
              And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.


07/16/2021 5:47 am

Years ago, when Mary Beth Jones was Director of the Norbertine Center for Spirituality, she offered many sessions for women. One of her sessions included Bobby McFerrin's sung version of Psalm 23. McFerrin was well-known for his pop song, "Don't Worry, Be Happy." You can find Bobby's sung version of Psalm 23 on You Tube.

Although my Dad had more 'shepherding' qualities than did my Mom, I felt the deep respect and affection, and gratitude that Bobby had for his Mother, as he sang his song of trust. His mother surely must have nurtured, protected, and guided him well.

Some years later, while at Our Lady of Charity Center, I took special notice of an old painting on one of their walls. It was the Good Shepherd as a Woman. Knowing the Sisters' charism had always been to care for single, pregnant women, giving them a start on raising their child, I could easily make the connection.

The 23rd Psalm, by Bobby McFerrin (dedicated to his mother)

The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all I need,

She makes me lie down in green meadows,

Beside the still waters, She will lead.

She restores my soul, She rights my wrongs,

She leads me in a path of good things,

And fills my heart with songs.

Even though I walk, through a dark & dreary land,

There is nothing that can shake me,

She has said She won't forsake me,

I'm in her hand.

She sets a table before me, in the presence of my foes,

She anoints my head with oil,

And my cup overflows.

Surely, surely goodness & kindness will follow me,

All the days of my life,

And I will live in her house,

Forever, forever & ever.

Glory be to our Mother, & Daughter,

And to the Holy of Holies,

As it was in the beginning, is now & ever shall be,

World, without end. Amen


From another perspective, to pray this psalm -- or to put it into our own heart-felt words -- for the sake of all those suffering the ravaging and devastating wild fires, and all those suffering the collapse of Champlain Towers, can help us 'feel with' and 'be with' their tremendous loss, pain, and grief.


Lois Trad
07/16/2021 7:26 am

Thank you for adding your reflection to this beautiful psalm! With all the chaos in our lives, your words add "peace"

07/16/2021 8:34 am

When I enter a church and see a window with Jesus holding the lamb with other sheep around him I feel comfort as I feel I am one of those sheep. Jesus is my Shepherd.

Mary B Krainz
07/17/2021 12:45 pm

So much good food for thought! I like the way you tied the readings together, and the idea of returning to this Psalm on "tough" days... Thank you, Sister Rose!

Father Bill Jacobs
07/18/2021 8:35 am

Dear Good Sister!

Thanks much for your Reflection! What I like best about this whole weekend is "Go and rest for awhile.." Jesus did it - The Apostles did it, and we need to do it also. Sometimes we just need to be still.....give ourselves a pause to re-energize...

God Bless!

My best to all the Good Sisters!

Father Bill

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