Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Lost Sheep

When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. - Mark 6:34

I was thinking about our priests today as I pondered the gospel reading at Mass this morning. The Apostles had gathered and were telling Jesus about all that they had done and taught and Jesus replied, "Ok. Let's go away to a deserted place to rest." But word got out that they were going to said "place", and there was a crowd waiting for them when they got there. I can imagine that most people would have been exhausted and rather dismayed to see such a crowd waiting for them as they were preparing for a much needed rest. It must have been like going on a vacation that you are looking forward to only to find out that your office has relocated to the place you are vacationing!

But Jesus saw the crowd and was moved to pity because he knew their hearts, and he knew that they were hungering for God. Jesus who was never one to put his needs above anything else recognized their great need and despite his need for rest, sat and taught the crowds. Like the Good Shepherd that he was, he tended his sheep who were in need.

I witness a similar event in the life of my own parish. People are so in need of spiritual guidance that the priests are seldom given the opportunity to just stop and recharge. And the most awesome thing is that they, like Jesus, are usually quick to recognize the needs of the people whom they serve and are willing to stop and spend time teaching and ministering to their flock, often times putting their own plans on hold even if just for a few minutes to do the Lord's work.

I am no different from those people who sought the Lord and the Apostles back in first century Palestine, and I am one of those parishoners who will stop to chat with the priests looking for some little morsel of spiritual nourishment to help me through the day. So, in this blog entry, I would like to say that I am grateful to God for the shepherds that he has sent to our parish. Father John and Father Kenny, both of you are truly an inspiration and a shining example of Christian charity. May Our Lady keep you close to her heart, and through her intercession, may God bless you and save you.


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