Speak Lord: again, the goodness of the shepherd


The Good Shepherd II by Duncan Grant

This Sunday, the feast of Christ the King, takes psalm 22 (23) as the responsorial psalm

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose.

Near restful waters he leads me,
to revive my drooping spirit.
He guides me along the right path;
he is true to his name.

You have prepared a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing.

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for ever and ever.

Psalm 22:1-3,5-6

‘There is nothing I shall want’? That phrase can be used in many ways.

It could mean that he will give me all that I want so that I will want for nothing…

It could mean that he will help me to learn and know how so many of my wants and needs that impact on my living are actually false and illusory, indicative of addiction and mess, rather than things that would help me to a more fulfilled living.

In God, please God, in healthy life in God, may our wants be met. Met, simply and gloriously by God’s being God and you and I, finally and by God’s grace, becoming who we are.

To bring us to that fulfilment, that achievement of our potential, God, the Lord, makes himself our shepherd.

Give Him thanks and praise.

Photograph of painting by Duncan Grant in chapel at Lincoln Cathedral. Photograph (c) 2012, Allen Morris.




Speak Lord: Good Shepherd

Duncan Grant

This Sunday is the last of the Church’s year, and is the feast of Christ the King. The first reading speaks of the Lord’s personal and abiding care not only for the flock, but each member of it.

The Lord says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest–it is the Lord who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them.
As for you, my sheep, the Lord says this: I will judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and he-goats.

Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17

He cares, and yet there is judgement too.
His ministry does not do all things for the flock. We are invited to play our part.
As human beings we are better equipped to do this – for the most part. We can (often) respond to the caring, growing, developing, fulfilling our potential. We can share in the caring. And we can express our thanks for it in many, many, ways.

  • What help do I need? And does he offer?
  • What care can I show?

Photograph of painting by Duncan Grant from chancery chapel at Lincoln Cathedral. (c) 2012, Allen Morris.