Tony

Tony
My brother in law Tony helping the poor

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ewe are Blessed

You're probably wondering what's up with that title?  You may be asking, does she really not know how to spell?  Well I probably don't, but I did deliberately choose to misspell the word "you".  Did you ever notice that in many of the bible stories people are referred to as sheep?  Now for those of you who know me, you know that I am a lover of sheep.  They are cute, cuddly, and baaaa oh so sweetly.  I even have a small sheep collection, but I never liked how people were likened to sheep in the gospels.  After all, we are intelligent human beings who have great minds to reason and think with, we are supposed to use our intellect and not be led around by a prod or staff, right?  


Why then did Jesus say that we are His sheep?  Are we not supposed to think?  Maybe He used sheep because hearding sheep was popular in those days and people could relate to His stories?  Still, it seemed a little degrading to me.  If we are sheep then that it implies that we are not given free will, therefore we need to be led around, right?  If you think about it in terms of the Church then that makes sense.  Don't you ever feel like sheep at Church?  Let's face it, on Sundays we heard ourselves into church, go through a series of rituals, heard through lines, get fed, and then heard our way back to our cars.  Especially now a days with all the new changes to the Mass, it seems even more flock-like just trying to keep up with the other sheep next to you.  


I really struggle with this whole sheep mentality.  We are not sheep, we are people with a choice.  We can choose to follow the crowd or wonder off to so-called "greener pastures" if we want.


So by now you are probably thinking, 'where is she going with this'?  Well let me show you....


I believe when Jesus referred to us as His sheep, and He as our Shepard, He was talking about our love for community, not a state of mind.  In the gospel story of The Lost Sheep, Jesus asks, 'wouldn't a good shepherd leave his flock to go off and find the one who is lost'?  If we live in families, and I'm sure most of us do, we know who the lost sheep are in our lives.  We know which brother or sister has left the faith/family/community and has wondered into unknown territories.  We know if we have a child that maybe doesn't quite fit in, or tries to fit in too much, we know if our spouse or friend is into things that are no good for him/her, and we know it bothers us and makes us uncomfortable. 


Some people know these things and spend every day worrying about them, but Jesus calls us not to be idle and just pray or worry, He tells us to go after them!  Talk to them, help them, guide them, call them home!  I urge you, do not be afraid to go after those we know are lost.  Too many people take their own life or end up in a life of misery because nobody went looking for them.  


This Christmas, I pray that each and everyone of you takes the time to make amends with those you have lost over the years, and bring them home.  For those of you with children away at college or are married and have moved away, you know there is no better feeling than having your family together for the holidays, please don't forget to welcome that person/persons who seems different or distant into your family/community once again.  Sometimes people only need to know that someone cares about them.  


As a Catholic, I don't believe it is all the rules and rituals that make us Catholic.  No, it is much more than that, what makes us Catholic is the importance we put on community, family, and fellowship; and for that I am very proud!


To all my friends of every faith, lost or found, I wish you a very beautiful and blessed Christmas.