Prepare for Sunday Mass: He gathers the lambs in his arms

Each week in OSV Newsweekly, Carl Olson provides a thoughtful, relevant reflection on the Mass readings for Sunday in his "Opening the Word" column. The following is just an excerpt, but you can read the entire column here.

The depiction of God as a shepherd goes back to Genesis. When Jacob (or Israel) was on his deathbed, he blessed two of his sons in the name of “the God in whose presence my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd from my birth to this day” (Gn 48:15).

In his final testament, Jacob described God as “the shepherd, the rock of Israel” (Gn 49:24). The prophets also referred to God as a shepherd, as when Isaiah declared, “Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, leading the ewes with care” (Is 40:11).

Read more about the Sunday readings in OSV Newsweekly.

Psalm 23, written by King David, is the best-known depiction in the Jewish scriptures of God as the shepherd who provides physical nourishment, spiritual refreshment and continual guidance and protection, concluding: “And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for endless days” (Ps 23:6).

Read Olson's entire column to prepare for Sunday Mass.