5/13/19 Weekly Reflection
May 14, 2019
We greet you in the name of our Lord Christ Jesus.
May the light of the Holy Spirit of our Lord, the Lord of love, mercy, and compassion shine upon all of us and may He grant us the knowledge, patience and wisdom to understand the richness of His teachings and missions which are intended to nurture our hearts and our lives.
Jesus in referencing Himself as the Good Shepherd, indicated that those who truly believed in Him recognized His voice unmistakably. Sheep are not the most flattering analogy for disciples but one thing sheep do very well is recognize their own shepherd and so they readily and confidently will follow him. In today’s complex world the voice of God is not as easy to recognize. That is why it often helps to have a spiritual director who can accompany us in our spiritual journey and point out the instances of God speaking to us that we may miss. The second-best thing is to join a prayer group that meets regularly, like the many Cursillo prayer groups here at Epiphany. Each time they meet, the focus is on when, during the past week, did they hear or see the call of the true Shepherd.
Part of that recognition is the fact that, like it or not, the shepherd smells like his sheep as Pope Francis has told us. In Jesus’ case, by becoming human, by walking, eating, sleeping with his disciples, He perfectly took on our “smell,” He knew our human foibles, failings, and hopes and showed the divine possibility of our nature. Even by dying on the cross, Jesus showed that a shepherd was willing to give his life for His sheep.
Aside from telling us to follow Him because He became the worthy lamb sacrificed, willing to lay down His life for His sheep, He is also telling us, throughout the Gospels that follow Easter, we too need to be true good shepherds to all we meet day to day.
As disciples of the Good Shepherd, are we ourselves as serious and committed to the call to be shepherd to all — not only friend but enemy, not only the good person but the evil one, not only the person like us but the one who is vastly different from us?