How are we called to be like the Good Shepherd?
I have a Saturday ritual of getting up before the sun and doing all the grocery shopping. I am an early riser anyway, and I really like how efficient and quiet everything can be at that hour of the day.
On the way home, I buy myself a cup of coffee and anticipate more quiet as I unload the groceries and place them just right. Often during this time, I’ll place an airpod in and listen to an audiobook or catch up on a podcast as I make the kitchen just right. It’s my time on Saturday mornings.
And usually, the boys are so wrapped up in cartoons and video games (all four boys) that this quiet time goes unnoticed. Yesterday, however, the three little boys were in a very helpful mood. “I can carry in four bags at a time, mom! Watch how strong I am!” followed by “I know exactly where these cans go. Here let me show you.” There was a tremendous energy around grocery unpacking. Part of me sighed internally at the loss of quiet and the slightly haphazard way things were being “put away” but I decided to let them anyway.
And it was actually kinda nice. We got done a whole lot faster, and it was great to see their enthusiasm. At the end, however, my oldest said something that hit hard. I told him, “What a great job you did helping me today!” and he replied, “Yea, remember last time I tried? You told me no.”
I can get caught up in the things that only I can do… ok, only I can do “just right.” I can also get caught up into habits – like the habit of mommy doing this while the boys do that. When I get caught up in those, however, I miss opportunities to be the Good Shepherd for my sons. I miss the call in that moment to be the one who shows up first for each of them.
Today’s Gospel is about the ultimate Good Shepherd, the one that shows up for us no matter what. We can use God’s example and this Gospel passage as clues to how we can show up for others as well.
So, how are you being called to be like the Good Shepherd today?