The psalmist in today’s responsorial psalm makes a faith declaration, describing his relationship with the Lord. He says; the Lord is my Sheppard there is nothing I shall want. This is because he allows the Lord to lead and guide him. And in his experience so far the Lord has always led him to the best opportunities. Even the Lord leads him through paths he does not understand or see clearly, they have always turned out at the end to be the best for him. God not only leads him he goes before him to prepare a place for him. And for this, he declares “I will continue to dwell in the House of the Lord forever, he does not fail me”. God for him thus is tested and certified.
This picture brings to mind the relationship between God and the Israelites fleeing from Egypt. The word of God said in Exodus 13: 17ff that “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” It continues “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” He was their light and their guide. This was the relationship all through the desert journey. The Lord continued to lead and guide. He was to guide them to the Promised land, to salvation. All he required of them was not to be afraid, but to stand firm in faith as He would deliver them. The Christian journey is like the desert journey of the Israelites, filled with challenges, lacks and thirst.
readings of today also present us two stories of men in relation to this psalm. In the first reading, God sent Samuel to go and anoint one of the sons of Jesse. However, he was to listen to the direction of the Lord and not to what appeals to his eyes. This is because God sees clearer, he knows it all. He said, “Man sees appearances but God sees the soul.” And on that day God surprised them all. On the contrary, in the gospel behold the Pharisees who would not allow themselves to be led by the spirit of God. They allowed their laws, jealousy and wickedness to blind them from the goodness of God and the direction of the light of God in the affairs of men.
Let us allow God and the light of his words to illumine our path in life. Let us learn to follow him confidently like a Sheppard who will never bring us to damnation. Let us trust in him every day knowing that he is always with us silently guiding the path of us life leading us to salvation. Let us not resist the direction of God in our lives by murmuring when things do not go as we intend. Lord help us always to be docile to your leadership.