This Sunday we’re reminded that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the source of all true peace and that He is our Shepherd. Saint Paul tells us that Jesus Christ is our peace, and it is through the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, by His Cross, Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension, that we have access in God the Spirit to God the Father and eternal life in Heaven (Ephesians 2:13-18). In the Gospel, Saint Mark tells us that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, whose heart is moved with pity when He sees people acting like sheep without a shepherd – and so the Good Shepherd teaches and guides His sheep through His Church, Word, Sacraments and prayer (Mark 6:30-34). Our Lord does this most awesomely in the Mass, where the one Sacrifice of Christ is made present, and we receive Jesus Himself in the mystery of the Holy Eucharist.
Even though we seem to know all this, how many times have we looked somewhere else for God’s peace? How often have we acted like sheep without a shepherd? In the busy-ness of our daily lives, many of us, susceptible to the cultural disease of being over-scheduled, can lose sight of the source of all true peace and act as if we had no Shepherd. So what do we do about it?
First and always, pray. Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so as to be in communion with God. Talk to, listen to Jesus Christ, God the Son. Where Jesus is, there is also God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He’s the best friend we will ever have. He gives us peace and strength that the world cannot give or take away, for He is the source of all true peace and strength. He shepherds us in prayer when we: adore the Lord in church and at home; are contrite for times that we’ve sinned; give thanks to God for the gift of our life, faith, family, friends; ask the Lord, in supplication, to not only hear our prayers, but answer them according to His will; ask for the grace to do His will, in our love for God and love for our neighbor; and ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saint Clement and our patron saints to pray for us, as they are eternally praising God in Heaven.
Second, let the Lord shepherd you. He provides many opportunities for us to be shepherded through His gifts of prayer, His Church and Teachings, His Word and Sacraments, and Ten Commandments. We allow the Lord to shepherd us when we simply and profoundly are aware of His presence in our daily duties – allowing our daily tasks to be sanctified by Our Lord. When this happens, He transforms those moments and we are changed forever.
Strengthened by God and His gifts of peace and prayer, letting Him shepherd us, we open ourselves, by His grace, to be instruments of His mercy and love – inviting and encouraging others by our words and deeds to encounter Jesus Christ, the Only Savior of the world.
With peace and prayers in Christ,