Have we all not experience a nudging feeling within us to become more active in our faith life? Occasionally someone pops up in our life to pop the invitational question about serving in a church ministry, or to be further involved and hold more responsibilities? We immediately curl up in defence behind the busy-ness of our work schedule or our family commitments or simply, “I am not ready, I don’t feel adequate”.
Distractions are rather attractive in life. Faith life is about the only lifestyle where the pasture is greener on this side! Distractions that prevent us from fully trusting our work and family to the Good Shepherd is like someone who “does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand”. A thief using distractions to steal our faith life.
Like sheep we follow distractions. We can follow them and wander so far away till we find ourselves out of a faith life, away from Church. We become the lost sheep. When we eventually come into the realisation that we are lost, we experience the nudging feeling to return to faith. Dwelling into this ‘feeling’, we actually hear a whisper in our heart: a call to return to the sheepfold.
This whisper has been persistently there; the voice of the good shepherd calling out to his sheep. We don’t hear it because our lifestyle has reached a certain comfort level. If nothing shakes it, we stay where we are, be it if we are out of Church. This whisper will only be amplified into a call when our life fly into turbulence.
Today is Good Shepherd Sunday. “The sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. He goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice”.
In truth, we believe that “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for” (CCC). The Good Shepherd persistently calls out to his sheep as God never ceases to draw man to himself.
The Good Shepherd is leading us into greener pastures. Here, it is true that the grass is greener on the other side. He knows that the carousel of life will stop spinning one day and the fun in the spin will cease, happiness as we know dissipates.
We pay attention to the events of our earthly life. It is the events of our personal life that God uses to draw us closer to Him. Events are like dots on a journey; joining them reveals the Good Shepherd ahead of us, guiding us along the right path. In these events we must strain to listen to the whisper in our heart,
“The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit”.
Listen to that whisper and be nudged.
4th Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday