Acts 2:14a; 36-41
1 Peter 2: 20b-25
In his parables and teaching, Jesus drew on many images of nature. Everywhere around us we see birds, animals, insects, plants, stars and other people. We see abundance, colour, variety, beauty and growth. We can n observe the changes each day and each season brings.
Jesus constantly referred to these realities of nature. In his day, a shepherd’s work was very individual and personal. A shepherd walked in front of his small flock. He slept near them so they would not get attacked by wolves. Because the sheep felt safe, they followed his directions.
Jesus used this wonderful image to tell us about how God loves, protects and cares for each of us. Because we are called into fellowship and discipleship with Jesus, we, too are called to be shepherds of people and also of our earth. We belong to the earth, just like plants, insects, birds, fish, animals, rivers and oceans, so we have a responsibility to be good shepherds of the earth and its life forms.
We will be better shepherds of the earth if, like the Good Shepherd, we care for and protect what we are responsible for. A good place to start is to appreciate our interconnectedness with all life forms.
So today we can make four reflections:
- Recognise the opportunities to pray ‘outside’ and appreciate this wonderful world that we share.
- Give thanks, and call on the Good Shepherd who loves, cares for and protects us.
- Recognise our call to be good shepherds of others
- Recognise our call to be good shepherds of the earth and all of its life forms.
Brian Traynor CP has been involved in faith formation for many years especially in the form of parish missions and through the Passionist Family Group Movement. Brian is a member of the Passionist community at Holy Cross, Templestowe.