To-day’s emphasis on the role of the shepherd is a timely reminder to all God’s people of their responsibilities to each other.
Being the shepherd in the church to-day isn’t simply the responsibility of bishop or priest. By virtue of our Baptism, it is the vocation of all of us. Being shepherds who care for all who struggle.
In 2013, Pope Francis preached at the Chrism Mass in Rome. This is a little of what he said:
“We need to “go out”, then, in order to experience our own anointing, its power and its redemptive efficacy, to the “outskirts” where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters. It is not in soul-searching or constant introspection that we encounter the Lord.
The priest who seldom goes out of himself, who anoints little .. misses out on the best of our people, on what can stir the depths of his priestly heart.
This is precisely the reason for the dissatisfaction of some, who end up sad – sad priests - in some sense becoming collectors of antiques or novelties, instead of being shepherds living with “the odour of the sheep”. This I ask you: be shepherds, with the “odour of the sheep”, make it real, as shepherds among your flock, fishers of men.”
While he was talking to the priests of the Diocese of Rome, it applies to all of us. Don’t talk about God, be the Easter Jesus!
Just a thought!