Today’s Thoughts: “I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep.” These are but a few of the words spoken by the Good Shepherd in today Gospel (John 10: 1-10). There are probably many people in life that I could image as the Good Shepherd. People who have impacted my life in profound ways. But as I sit here reflecting on our Gospel my thoughts turned to mothers. Perhaps it is because I have begun to think about Mother’s Day next Sunday that I make the connection between mothers and the Good Shepherd. I am sure there are theologians and scholars out there who would cringe at the thought of connecting the image of mothers with the image of the Good Shepherd.
But it makes sense to me and that is all that is necessary as I offer you a few thoughts and musings on this Fourth Sunday of Easter. My own mother is not far from my thoughts as I prepare for another Mother’s Day without her. She has been gone now for well over five years. I do miss her but I know that she is in a much better place and enjoying the gifts of God’s joy, peace and love abundantly now. But I still miss her!
Mothers are often the Good Shepherds of our lives, standing guard at the gate, especially early on in our life, protecting, nurturing, feeding and loving us. They are the first shepherds of our life yet even after we leave the sheep fold for what we think are greener pastures they are still with us, standing guard, nurturing, protecting, feeding and loving us. They don’t do it perfectly, mothers are human and have their flaws, but the vast majority of the time they are Good Shepherds!
A few years ago a professional basketball player, Kevin Durant received the Most Valuable Player Award for the NBA season and unlike most other professional athletes he chose not to honor himself or his teammates but to honor his mother. For Mr. Durant, his mother was the Good Shepherd of his life, the person who made all his achievements possible.
Yes, that is what a Good Shepherd does, he makes possible all our achievements, and the Good Shepherd makes possible our life. The Good Shepherd came into the world that we might have life and have it more abundantly. That is what mothers do to. They give us life and by their care, their nurturing, their protection, their wisdom, their joy and their love we get to have life and have it more abundantly.
If we were coming up on Father’s Day I would say the same thing about fathers, but next Sunday is Mother’s Day and if you have a hard time seeing the Good Shepherd, Jesus, in all mothers, I am sorry. However, each time I think of my mother, each time I encounter the many mothers in my life there is an image that I see and the image of Jesus, as the Good Shepherd.
May the Good Shepherd, bless and be with all of us today. May Jesus, the Good Shepherd stand at the gate of life so that all of us may continue to have life and have it more abundantly!
Happy Good Shepherd Sunday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...