Today's Good News Reflection

Making the scriptures meaningful for your everyday life.
by Terry Modica
~ Español ~ Read this week's INSIDER'S VIEW ~

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Today's Inspirational Snippet: True Christian unity means refusing to allow our differences to interfere with our love.

Good News Reflection

Wednesday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time
Feast of the Chair of St. Peter
February 22, 2017

Today's Saint Quote: Margaret of Cortona
In times of desolation, God conceals...

Today’s Prayer:

Give me, Lord, the light of Your Holy Spirit to truly discover who You are to me. I want to let You conquer my whole being. Amen.

Today's Readings:

1 Peter 5:1-4
Ps 23:1-6
Matthew 16:13-19
www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022217.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
ccc.usccb.org/cccradio/NABPodcasts/17_02_22.mp3

Shepherding in imitation of Christ

The readings for the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle all focus us on the quality of leadership called "shepherding."

Our priests are the shepherds of the parish. The bishop is the shepherd of the priests and all the parishioners of the diocese. The pope is the shepherd of the world -- he is in persona Christ the Good Shepherd for everyone today, in imitation of Christ, in obedience to him, and as a voice speaking for him, inheriting the role from the first pope, Saint Peter.

All leaders -- clergy and laity, consecrated religious and secular -- are called to imitate Jesus' style of shepherding. Parents are to do it as they shepherd their families. Teachers are to do it as they shepherd their classrooms. Employers and supervisors are to do it as they shepherd those who work under them. Secretaries are to do it as they shepherd the people who come through the office.

How does Jesus serve you? That's how we're to shepherd others.

The Good Shepherd is caring.
He protects his flock.
He guides his sheep to safer pastures.
He goes after the lost and finds them.
He carries the weak ones over difficult terrain.
He fights off the wolves and defeats them with the power of God.
Always alert to do his job well, he relies on the Holy Spirit who empowers him.

In imitation of Christ, we care about each "sheep" and "lamb" in our lives. We guide them by taking an active interest in their problems and offering them the wisdom we've gained from experience and from the Holy Spirit. We find ways to bridge the gaps of division, i.e., seeking "the lost." We let them lean on us when they're weak or feeling unlovable or overwhelmed by difficulties. We pray for them, helping them defeat the demons that prey on them like wolves. Or we stand up to the bullies who prey on their joy and dignity.

Meanwhile, we continue working on our own healing process and spiritual development -- as fully as possible -- so that we can decrease and the Good Shepherd can increase in us. We learn how to better care for our flocks through the compassion we gain by getting in touch with our own pain, our own times of being attacked by wolves, our own need to be led to safer pastures -- and by doing everything possible to heal and learn from these difficulties.

In whatever ways Jesus has shepherded us, this is the only way we can successfully shepherd others.



© 2017 by Terry A. Modica

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