The first five words of the 23rd Psalm.
A clue in the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament, during yesterday evening’s match. Some of the most intelligent, well-educated young people in the land, competing.
None of them knew the first five words of the 23rd Psalm. None of them even rang in on the buzzer. Shrugged shoulders and silence.
…From today’s gospel at Holy Mass, part of the Sermon on the Mount: Where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. God. The Lord. Our shepherd. Nothing shall I want, in that pasture, the eternal Kingdom of God.
The gospel continues: The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light. The Greek literally reads, “If your eye be single.” But here ‘single’ evidently means ‘unified, whole.’ Because the next phrase contrasts ‘single’ with ‘bad.’
What does this mean? Certainly the Lord speaks not simply of our material eyes, since they are, by nature, double.
The light of an upright conscience, the interior eye, by which we perceive God. What is an upright conscience? What isn’t it? It’s not magic. Conscience = reasoning soberly, starting from a sound first principle, when it comes to making decisions, or recognizing the rightness or wrongness of decisions I have made.
And the sound first principle is: The Lord is my shepherd.