Monday, April 27, 2015

Do Something, Be His Sheep

Do Something, Be His Sheep Monday Morning 298                          April 27, 2015

Friends of Faith:

We are called to DO something, because we believe something. Just saying we believe isn’t enough. We are called to put our faith into action.

And who leads us? Who do we follow? How do we know that what we are doing is right and that who we are following is leading us on the right path?

Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.” Jn 10: 11-18

Are we following Jesus Christ or is our shepherd the hired man who runs when the going gets tough?

And where are all the sheep? Why do so many say they believe in God, yet so few seem to honor that belief? What is so difficult about the institution of Church and the authority of following a leader whom Christ put in charge?

In His death and resurrection Jesus has already done my work for me, IF I would only follow His lead. If like a sheep I would allow Him to take on my difficulties and challenges. Then my job could be much easier.

What about the hired man who runs when the wolf comes. How many times am I led astray, wandering because I have followed the wrong shepherd, a devil whose interest lies in his own self-fulfillment, or a devil who encouraged me to take it on myself, to become my own leader without regard to His authority or whomever else my decisions might affect? Have I become my own God?

And what about when the hired man disappears after making me a promise that my happiness will come through social acceptance, career success, or material wealth; am I then left scattered, disillusioned and searching for something more without the guidance of God’s truth and mercy?

I think personally that I most often resist the notion of giving up control because I fear that I may follow the hired man and be left wandering. And even though I respect authority by being in control of myself (and of all that happens around me) I will not only get myself out of a situation but I will be sure others also are led a better way. 

And yet it is God’s way that is the best way and His plan and how that is carried out is only known by Him. That is why I am to be His sheep, led and nurtured by Him, with Jesus Christ and those he has given authority to, as my Good Shepherd.

This doesn’t mean that being a Christian (a sheep following Christ) will be easy. On the contrary being a follower of Jesus means I may have to wander in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights so that I come to know who is in control. It may mean that I have to accept and bear a cross that I am given so that others may see my faith. And it may mean sacrificing my wants so that someone else will have what they need. It means serving and loving so that my joy and happiness is found not in my own comfort, but in the rewards of seeing others come into the flock, in being unified with and for Christ.

It means showing my respect and belief in His authority by following Jesus into His home (my home) the Church at least once a week (every week) where I am allowed to receive His Spiritual encouragement in Scripture and physical food in the Eucharist and to share and to be encouraged by others who also believe.

Heavenly Father I am thankful that you have given me Your Son as My Good Shepherd. Help me to see in Him the light which guides my choices and encourages me to be more for Him AND to do more for others. May my reward here on earth be to see more come into the flock so that together we will follow You into the greatest reward, heaven. Thank you for the Good Shepherds, Priests, Bishops and Deacons in my life. Amen.

Jesus the Good Shepherd is continually looking for me and waiting for me to follow, ready to take me in and give me everything I need. His way is the best way.

May Christ lead me to do His will because I believe in Him,


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