December 09, 2014
Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent
Gospel Mt 18:12-14
Dress like a Shepherd
Jesus said to his disciples: “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?”
I know you know this passage from Scripture. I know you have read it a thousand times. So what does it mean to you? What is your opinion? One hundred sheep. I find it a bit funny how the Lord utilizes sheep and shepherd in his lesson plan rather than fish and fisherman, especially to former fishermen. Sheep are not the smartest animals in the world (they’re actually pretty dumb). So is this a classic roundabout way of saying shepherds are not the smartest people in the world? So why bother running after one of these critters and risking your own neck? Excellent question!
Amazing mercy. The Lord is the Good Shepherd who remains above His sheep but never below them; that is, it is not below Him to go after them. On the other hand, it appears as though it is below the other sheep to go after one of their lost brother or sisters.
Today begins the “One Human Family, Food for All” campaign organized by the Vatican-based federation of Catholic charities, Caritas International. Starting at noon today on the South Pacific island of Samoa and heading west across the world’s time zones, a global “wave of prayer” will begin to bring awareness to the over one billion people who silently go hungry in the world. Hunger is a scandal in the world, especially when so much food is wasted and there is enough food to feed the world’s population every single day.
Dress like a Shepherd. Not only did the King of kings “dress” as a man, he also dressed like a shepherd. At this moment, it is not hard to think of the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ, who, at night, dresses like a common priest and goes around Rome breaking bread with the homeless. Dear brothers and sisters, we should have learned this lesson from the Lord long ago. But if not, we can still learn it from those who are close to Him.
But I don’t think we need a great shepherd like the Son of God to do such simple things for us. All we need to do is simply lift up our heads from the ground and open our eyes to the tremendous need that is out there.
Then even the sheep can become like shepherds.