God Is my Shepherd, There Is Nothing I Shall Want

Psalm 23 is probably one of the most familiar psalms in this collection of songs. In the psalm God is recognized as the Shepherd who “guides us along the right path,” protects us from evil, and gives us courage. Because shepherds were considered dirty, smelly and maybe “crooks,” referencing God as shepherd would not necessarily be a compliment or praise, but passages in scripture frequently call us to the unexpected, jerks us around. All the readings this weekend are about defying expectations. Since this psalm is so familiar, may we pray and reflect on the psalm in a new way.

O God, you are my shepherd, I need nothing more.
You give me rest in green meadows,
setting me near calm waters,
where you revive my spirit.

You guide me along right paths, you are true to your name.

Though I should walk in death’s dark valley,
I fear no evil with you by my side,
your shepherd’s staff to comfort me.

You spread a table before me as my foes look on.
You soothe my head with oil; my cup is more than full.
Goodness and love will tend me every day of my life.

I will dwell in your holy house as long as I shall live.

[verses adapted from The Psalter © 1995, Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications.]