Shepherding and Being Shepherded

In my blog post of yesterday, my focus with respect to yesterday’s Gospel from St. was on Jesus’ instruction to his disciples to come away and rest for a while. In the Mass I attended at Our Lady of Lourdes parish yesterday (where Elena was singing), my friend Fr. Dan Griffith focused on the shepherd imagery in the Gospel.

He talked about those who have positions of responsibility within the Church and was honest about our need to hold those who shepherd us in our faith accountable when they fall down in their duties. He also talked about the need for humility, and one of the things that struck me in his talk was the request with which he ended his sermon: that we pray for him in his role as shepherd of the Our Lady or Lourdes community – that he lead them with wisdom and compassion.

But he didn’t just focus on how we look at those who shepherd us. His sermons was a good reminder that we are both sheep and shepherds. And one of the things we all need to be conscious of is how well we are doing in shepherding others.

The reminder is a good one. We can’t just sit back and criticize those “in charge” for their failings. We have responsibilities toward each other as well – to shepherd each other in our faith. I fear that we all too easily overlook that responsibility, so am grateful that Dan’s sermon addressed it.