“I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.” “My sheep hear my voice…and they follow me.” Jesus is the Good shepherd always watching over his flock. A shepherd actually ‘leads’ from behind, allowing his sheep to find their way forward, but being always watchful that they do not stray too far. He guides them with the sound of his voice and the assurance of his presence. I suspect we could say the same things about mothers. They too allow their children to develop their own paths, but they are always ready to do whatever is needed when their children stray too far. A child (even a grown one) always knows the sound of his mother’s voice and is comforted by its presence. On this Mother’s Day, we honor both our earthly mothers and our heavenly shepherd.
As Vincentians, we are shepherds to those we minister to. They often look to us for both guidance and reassurance. Often, what they need more than anything is to know that we care, we are there, and we will not abandon them. Do I seek to be present to those who need me, or do I just want to ‘help’ and move on? Do I offer reassurance, patience, and support in my conversations? Do I seek to guide rather than control?
Lord Jesus, you are my Good Shepherd. Let me seek your voice in humility as I look to serve others, guiding them as they journey through the challenges in their lives. Help me to minister with patience and kindness, gently helping to identify the hope of the future. We pray all of this in your name. Amen