Daily Reflection
August 23rd, 2006

Joan Lanahan

SPAHP, Occupational and Physical Therapy Programs
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Ezekiel 34:1-11
Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Matthew 20:1-16


A shepherd is a wise and loving leader, determined to guide the flock with care. That is why the Lord God spoke to Ezekiel to prophesy to the shepherds (leaders) that, in disgust with their selfishness, The Lord would lead his own people. In Matthew we see the estate owner granting just wages to his workers as a testament again of a wise and loving leader.

Why is Psalm 23, “the Lord is my shepherd”, so popular at funerals? I believe it is a testament to the loved one’s faith in God’s steadfast love and guidance. Life is often such a mystery and we can only turn to God to help us through the foggy times.

I have been reading “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho with 2 book clubs. In this novel a young shepherd, who loves to travel and meet new people and experiences, sells his sheep to take a grand journey to foreign lands. He listens carefully to people he meets: King Melchizedek, a crystal merchant, an English scholar, a camel driver and finally, an alchemist. Each has a piece of a message that leads the young man to his destiny, his calling in life.

God shepherds us to live out the call/s of our lives: family, profession, sufferings, joys. Do you remember the song that goes, “shepherd me O God, beyond my wants, beyond my needs, from death into life”? This acknowledges our dependence on God for guidance in good and in hard times.

We give thanks to God in times of joy and peace. We cry ‘help’ when we are stuck or sick or experiencing loss/es. This is part of acknowledging our steadfast love of God as much as God’s of us. We KNOW WE NEED GOD.

Don’t hesitate to call on God. We can’t, we don’t need to get through tough stuff alone.

“You spread the table before me in the presence of my fears,
doubts, inadequacies…

…wherever I am, wherever I go,

Psalm 23

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