Psalm 23:1-6 (NRSV)

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;   3 he restores my soul.  He leads me in right paths  for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,  I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely  goodness and mercy  shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

Matthew 14:29 (NRSV)

28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.   

DEVOTION – Elisabetta Pagano (Campania, Italy)

I saw Lia for the last time last summer at the seaside.  Her face was pale and strained with suffering.  Her eyes, though circled with dark rings, were still luminous and lively even though she was thin from chemotherapy.  Lia was bursting with love from every pore, and she lavished it on those arounf her.  It was lovely to see her play happily with her grandchildren.  When I lost the companion of my life, Lia and her family had offered me their loving support.  “I shall always be here for you,”  she said to me, enveloping me in her warm hug, although it was she who needed help.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I Shall not want.”  Lia fully understood this verse and made it her own message of hope.  She trusted in God’s merciful love and gave generously of herself without becoming discouraged in the difficult times.  Lia’s body was frail, but her indomitable spirit never faltered.  She was sustained by her faith in the prospect of salvation offered by God in Christ, who by his sacrifice on the cross, has vanquished death and given us eternal life in his kingdom.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Christ’s love overcomes the string of death.

PRAYER: O Lord, give us the strength to alleviate sorrow through solidarity with our neighbor. Amen.