This Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday, for it begins a series of Sunday Gospels on Jesus as our Good Shepherd. I think Pope Francis is going to make some hay with this day, because he is so insistent that priests and bishops get the smell of the sheep on themselves. I’m not sure what I smell like, but for sure, my heart is in the right place.
I’ve been around sheep and I can say that they are not really smelly. But they are very sticky because of the lanolin in their wool. In all innocence, I petted one once and will never do it again. Maybe in a petting zoo they are nice and clean, but not out in pasture.
Enough of smelly sheep. The line of the Gospel that really strikes me this year is how the sheep hear Jesus’ voice and his only and they will follow him outside the sheepfold and into safe pasture. A few days ago, I was talking with another priest. He was telling me how he was being tempted and he resisted the temptation because he knew, deep within, that “This is not me.”
Does that sound familiar to you? Have you often heard that voice saying something like, “This is not me” or “I don’t want to be this way” or “this feels like the right thing to do.” Then, when you do the good and right thing, there is peace, joy, calmness, a sense of rightness. Trust me: this is the voice of Jesus beckoning you forth into a good way of life. Compare that with how you feel when you do the things that “aren’t you.” You will usually feel bad and get down on yourself and that is precisely what the Evil One wants. Please don’t let the evil One rob you of your life.
Be God’s smile for someone today!
Fr. Herb Yost, C.S.C.