Daily Reflection for Monday, May 4, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Monday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Acts 11:1-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4
Gospel: John 10:11-18
Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
“I am the good shepherd. I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the father.” John 10:14-15
For about 10 years I had the privilege of teaching preschool children in a religious education program called Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. This way of catechizing recognizes that we are all learners, and Christ is our teacher. The role of the catechist is to be a matchmaker between the child and God and then step out of the way, allowing the relationship to blossom naturally.
When reflecting on this parable with children, we draw attention to key points. The Good Shepherd leads the sheep. He doesn’t drive them from behind, prodding and yelling at them to stay in line. He knows what they need and walks ahead of them, making sure the way is safe. He calls each sheep by name. He gives His whole life for them. The sheep know His voice and do not follow a stranger.
Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P. says that the way Jesus calls to His sheep “reaches into the depths of their memory, all the way back to their birth when each one was given a name and a vocation for life … Through Jesus, we pass through a door into our very best self, our name as spoken by Jesus.”
There is so much clarity and comfort for me in this parable, especially now. We are in a time of great uncertainty and fear. We walk and often stumble in the dangerous, rocky terrain of a pandemic, but I am uncharacteristically at peace with not knowing where I’m headed. The pressure of big decisions is alleviated because any plan could change at a moment’s notice. I am better able to let go and follow the Shepherd because things are so far out of my control.
Of course I am never really the one in control of things, but it is more evident now. I’m also more aware that I belong to something greater and am not alone. We have always been part of the same flock, but it is rare that I feel this connected to everyone else. When forced to stop and graze, I’ve paid more attention to the concerns and shared needs of those around me.
Where is the Good Shepherd leading you today? What would you like to say to Him? As you pray, allow His voice to reach into the deepest parts of you and help you to see your best self—the version of you that HE sees.
May God’s Peace Be With You,