|Jesus: Our Shepherd
The readings this week reflect the care and closeness with which Jesus as Lord loves each and every one of us, His people. For a lot of us, I wonder how often this message is message is met with disbelief.
As a young girl in Catholic school, I remember hearing from various teachers in my life about how God cares for us. The simile I heard most often was that God cares for His people “Like a loving parent cares for a child.” I have a good knowledge of what that feels like. I often feel a bit spoiled when reflecting on this phrase. I was brought up in a very loving home. Both my parents loved and cared for me and my two sisters and taught us to do the same. Sadly, I know this is not the case in every household.
When I married and began a family of my own, my husband and I discussed how important it was to us to impart this kind of love on our children. We made it a high priority of ours to educate our three girls in their faith and try to convey the tenderness with which they are loved by God. Looking at the world in which kids these days are being brought up, we want to give our children a solid faith with a place where they can go to know, no matter what their circumstances, they are loved just as they are.
Recently, my mother showed me a sketching she came across of Jesus holding a baby lamb. The look on the animals’ face is one of pure peace and relaxation. It reflects the Gospel this week and reminds me that the sweet gentle embrace from Jesus is all we need in this life. I hope I have shown even a fraction of that type of love to my family and those I interact with each day.
With Jesus as our shepherd, if we keep our ears open to His voice, our lives will be filled with the peace and joy of heaven. I pray for those who have not experienced love in this life, that they encounter God in those around them.
For all people, may our hearts be open to receive the gift of God’s eternal mercy, Let us pray…
Almighty ever-living God,