Today is known as Good Shepherd Sunday. We hear from John’s gospel about Jesus, the Good Shepherd. While in the Holy Land a few years back, I visited with the monks at the Church of the Good Shepherd. They talked about the life of a shepherd. They are willing to risk their lives for their sheep. The sheep come to know and trust the sound of their voice. They do not lead the sheep but follow from behind gently guiding and directing them, making sure they do not stray too far off course, and yet also, letting the sheep find their way. The shepherd has ‘their back’ and is always there for each of them. This is how Jesus leads us as well.
As Vincentians, we are called to be a shepherd for those Jesus brings before us. As their shepherd, we listen for the guidance of our Shepherd that we might help others find their way in life. We help them to come to know the Good Shepherd and to trust in His will for them. Through our actions, through our words, through the comfort of our voice, we are called to ‘have their backs’ as Jesus has ours. Do I bring comfort to those I minister to? Do I guide them from behind, letting them lead but not letting them stray? Do they come to see the Good Shepherd through my presence?
Lord Jesus, you are the Good Shepherd in whom I trust. Help me to see in you the model of my ministry to others. Help me to never violate their trust in me, always caring for them and putting their needs first. Give me the courage, the patience and the passion to follow your will for myself and those I minister to, helping me to allow them to feel your comfort and love. We pray all of this in your name. Amen