July 28

Shepherding Is Caring For Others

Friday, July 28 1 will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely ... Jeremiah 3:15

Who are these shepherds, described as. being like God's own heart? Shepherds are given the responsibility to care for the flock, to see that the sheep are safe, fed, and kept from getting lost. Jesus told his disciples that a good shepherd and the sheep always know each other because the shepherd takes such good care of them. Ministers of the church are often referred to as shepherds because of their spiritual leadership. While this is appropriate, I also think of shepherds as anyone having the privilege of caring and tending for another, whether this be spiritual or physical. Such shepherds might be physicians with patients, parents with children, teachers with students, counselors with clients, grandparents with grandchildren, employers with employees-the list can go on and on. And what kind of qualities are needed? The same as those in the Good Shepherd's own heart: kindness, mercy, compassion, guidance, generosity, concern, patience, and many others.

Shepherd of my heart, teach me how to be a good shepherd to those whom I tend. Let my tending be a reflection of how you care for me.

Sr. Joyce Rupp, O.S.M.

Jeremiah 3:14-17 0 Jeremiah 31:10-13 Matthew 13:18-23