Rector, Casey Shobe Sermon by: The Rev. R. Casey Shobe, D.Min.
Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration | Dallas, Texas
October 14, 2018
Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 23

Sell Everything


I’ve been reading a book called Tattoos on the Heart by a Jesuit priest named Greg Boyle. It tells the story of his ministry with the youth – who he calls homies and homegirls—of gang-filled neighborhoods in Los Angeles, and it is at times insightful and inspiring and absolutely hilarious. Among the stories he tells is one about a time he visited a juvenile correctional facility to celebrate the Mass. One of the incarcerated youth was the lector, and he was also responsible for leading the psalm. It was the 23rd psalm, and he was to lead the congregation in repeating the refrain, “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.” Well, the young man practiced beautifully before the service, with a great voice and gestures and poise, but when the service began, and there were hundreds of people in the congregation, he veered off script. “Our response to the psalm this evening is, ‘The Lord…is nothing I shall want.’” And in response, the congregation awkwardly but dutifully echoed, “THE LORD IS NOTHING I SHALL WANT.”