This Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday; a time where we celebrate the Lord’s immense care for us. Pastors, the head priests at a parish, dedicate their entire lives to shepherd us closer to God. The word pastor is actually rooted in a Latin word meaning shepherd. It is very common on Good Shepherd Sunday to offer prayers for our priests. Outside of our priests, have you ever thought about the other people who have helped you to know God?
I would argue that every person who has showed us love, has helped us to get a glimpse of God: a mother who nurtures us with care, a father who stoically goes about the day always doing the right thing, a grandmother who teaches us how to cook, a grandfather who teaches us how to fish, an older cousin who sits and listens to us, a coach who leads a prayer before a practice or game, a teacher who humbly assists a student even when they are being intentionally difficult, a neighbor who shovels your walk or brings in your garbage can without being asked, or a boss who spends time to work with you so you perform better in the future. Acts of kindness and love abound, and each of the doers of these acts helps us to see God.
Of all of the beautiful stained glass windows at St. Isidore, my favorite is the depiction of the Good Shepherd. I am drawn to this window with its rich colors and the image of our Father holding us, the proverbial sheep, in his arms. It brings me comfort. I feel a similar comfort when reflecting on all of the wonderful people who have helped me to know God. Take a few moments today, Good Shepherd Sunday, to reflect on these mini “shepherds” in your life and pray for the grace to reciprocate this care to those people who are looking to you so that they can more fully know God.