We must radiate God's
love. We must know that we have been created for greater things, not just to be a number in the world, not just to go for
diplomas and degrees, this work and that work. We have been created in order
to love and to be loved. Love
does not measure. . . it just gives. Mother Theresa
LAbri, April, 2004.
my reveries these days I have been recalling some of the places in my journeys where shepherds still tend their sheep as in
the first century. I have seen them in such diverse places as Kentucky, California,
Montana, Turkey, Greece, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Ecuador, Peru, and Australia.
No doubt I now recall these scenes as I have been brooding over the parable of the Good Shepherd. In the story, Jesus
sets the stage: there is a sheepfold with a narrow gate, a fenced (more likely
a low stone wall) pasture, within which is the sheep and a shepherd, keeping careful watch. He of course is that Shepherd.
I dwell on that scene, picturing Him keeping watch on what is going on in our world, still in control with His Shepherds crook,
working miracles. The metaphor is so precisely true to life and so much on target
that one cannot imagine an illustration more perfect. How could it be otherwise,
coming from the lips of Jesus? Unlike the hired man who flees when he sees the
wolf coming, the Good Shepherd remains steadfast to protect his sheep. Lo, I am with
you always. What He offers is constancy.
These days what I find myself praying for most often is the constancy of His Presence, that I will feel His companionship
and know Hes near, helping me make it through each day. I need His assuring presence
for these troubled times when so much that was once stable in my world seems under attack:
respect and reverence for the Ten Commandments, honesty, caring agape
love, and the whole catalog of values we knew in souls like Mother Theresa, Albert Schweitzer and George Washington Carver......
Dwelling on these thoughts I am reminded that outdoors, jonquils, daffodils and forsythia now trumpet the arrival of
spring. Perhaps, yes of course it is no accident of nature that these spring
blossoms are shaped like trumpets, sounding once more the glorious notes of Resurrection.
These, too, are reminders of His constancy. Precisely on time since
time began, they faithfully come forth out of their winter tombs. Birdsongs fill
my woods these mornings, too. Some of these choristers are itinerants, headed
north, but many others will stay until early September. I hear their mating calls
as they prepare to set up housekeeping and raise their young. For all of this
early spring symphonic introit to another blessed spring opera, the heart listens carefully and hears their lilting glorious
chorus with one voice resound:
He is not here; for He
Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young." - Sir Arthur Pinero