A Relational Good Shepherd!

Ah, the Good Shepherd returns! It is always one of my favorites, if but overly used at times.

Seeing Jesus as the example of being a good shepherd makes sense, because that was one of the major occupations throughout Palestine in His day. His listeners knew about them. People that cared for flocks of sheep were of the lowest socioeconomic level, with little to no education. They were the modern day ‘nobodys’ back then, but Jesus made a point of finding relationship with them – and the sheep – as a model for us all.

It is a wonderful and needed trait of being a good shepherd: knowing one’s own flock. Jesus is modeling real relationships and in His relationship with God, we are brought closer to Him – and His Father – as his followers, Jesus models an example for authentic, real relationships.

Today’s world is often so busy that it is difficult to take the time needed to invest in real relationships, especially with people we have less in common with or where hidden self-prejudice creeps in. How often are we able to stop and listen deeply when we ask, “How are you?” How often are we willing to talk with the person who is different from us, who might be considered ‘an outsider’? We have Jesus’ example of showing love through real relationships as our model, and it is up to us as the church to live out that example in our world.

Today, we also have a wonderful opportunity to see a relationship stand the test and the passage of time. This morning, Lorie and Mike Lyons will renew their vows at the Morning Mass, as they celebrate and honor their 50 years together with us, their church family!

How willing are we to intentionally shepherd others toward a life of loving God and our neighbors, thereby helping to bring them into the fold so they can “listen to Jesus’ voice”? How willing are we to sacrifice to make our relationships stand the test of time? How often have we lost relationships because of rumor or prejudice? This is the voice we should all listen to, the of the one Good Shepherd, who “knows his own and his own know him.” 

Blessed Good Shepherd Sunday!

Monsignor +Jim 

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