The readings are about God appointing shepherds for a people who would otherwise be aimless and lost.
Although we priests appropriate the term “shepherd” to ourselves, often it is others than priests who find nourishment for us, and who keep us from wandering aimlessly.
We Christians pray that there might be just one shepherd. That shepherd is Christ, and each true shepherd in our lives has lead in his name.
It would be a useful for you to go back over your years to make special note of those who by giving you valuable lessons in living have been your shepherds.
I have been doing that. My chief shepherd was my dad. He worked hard, then, turned to making life enjoyable for us. Six evenings a week, coming home from work, he’d appear at the back door, asking, “What are we going to do tonight?”
The other big pillar of my youth was our seminary rector. He loved feast day sing-a-longs, but he insisted that we get back to work before free time left us dissipated. He always saw dissipation as the insidious enemy to meaningful living.
As well as those top grade shepherds I have had shepherdesses that made life good for me. And, as I write this, it is dawning on me that they possess the same qualities that made my dad and the rector valuable. Like those two, they are light-hearted company, but like them they do their work.
My nun buddy never leaves her classroom without thoroughly planning the next day’s work. My other shepherdess follows a rule that has her doing something for her property every day.
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