Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna, Italy. Mosaic.

Readings:  Acts 4:8-12; Psalm 118; 1 John 3:1-2; John 10:11-18

Allegory of Christ as the Good Shepherd, 3rd century

Today’s readings depict Christ as our Shepherd and guide throughout life’s green pastures and dark valleys.
Spend a few moments today or through the week praying with these two contemporary versions of Psalm 23.  

  • Where do you find comfort in them? Where do you find challenge? 
  • You may be inspired to write your own version of this cherished psalm that was St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s favorite.

Sr. Nora Cunningham, SC, wrote this in May, 2020, as the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic hit home for all of us.

Good Shepherd,
Give rest to the weary in service of others.
May healing waters refresh them.

Guide those in leadership and authority to choose
right paths to wholeness of spirit and wellness of body.
As we walk through this dark valley, may we have no fear
but be courage.

Anoint all who have died and receive them into the dwelling of your house.
Console all who mourn them with goodness and kindness all the days of their life.

                                  ~   ~   ~   ~

Christ as Shepherd, by Sister Margaret Beaudette

   ~   ~   ~   ~

At work, at home, racing to finish errands, in traffic, rushing to put dinner on the table – whenever we get that frazzled, frenzied, rushed feeling, this version of the psalm is for us. 

Psalm 23 for Busy People (Toki Miyashina)

The Lord is my Pace Setter, I shall not rush,
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals,
He provides me with images of stillness,
Which restore my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency,
through calmness of mind; and his guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for his presence is here.
His timelessness, his all-importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity,
by anointing my head with his oils of tranquility,
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruit of my hours,
For I shall walk in the pace of my Lord,
and dwell in his house for ever.

 

JESUS MAFA. The good shepherd, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48288 [retrieved April 20, 2021]. Original source: http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr (contact page: https://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr/contact).

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