The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
"They’re rioting in Africa, they’re starving in Spain.
There’s hurricanes in Florida, and Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls.
The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles.
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch.
And I don’t like anybody very much!"
(Sheldon Harnick 1953)
The above lyrics were sung by the Kingston Trio back in the good old ‘60’s. I remember them well and I often feel their appropriateness-especially after listening to the 5:00 o’clock news. The places and names have changed, but that’s about it. It’s then I muse: Where’s that "Good" Shepherd when you need him? He must be asleep on the job. Why if I ruled the world, things would be different.
Sometimes, in a moment of clarity I recall the mess I’ve made of things. Yes, I’ve tried hard to do the right thing, but only to find out that I messed up again. I thought I knew the right answer, but was proven wrong again. Then I think of some other lyrics:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference."
Finally, once again I realize I need to get out of the way and let the Good Shepherd be the Good Shepherd. I’m one of the flock and oh so lucky to be in His care. The following line of the 23rd Psalm helps me. It goes:
"Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come." (Today’s Responsorial Psalm, USCCB)
Dan O’Donnell is a Passionist Partner and a longtime friend of the Passionists. He lives in Chicago.