Monday, March 12, 2012

Lent: Joyful Mondays

The third Joyful Mystery is the Nativity. The fruit we're supposed to ponder is poverty. Here's my take.

We all know the familiar story of the Nativity. Joseph and his bride, Mary had to travel to Bethlehem for the census. There was no room at the inn, yet Mary's time was near. They found shelter in a stable amid humble animals: sheep, oxen, and their donkey. Jesus's birth took place amid a location of poverty. His first visitors weren't the three kings or wise men. Instead the first to hear the good news and worship the Son of God were humble shepherds. However, this was definitely not the first time God gave shepherds priority. Just the other night I read another familiar story to my children as part of our Lenten observance, David and Goliath. Throughout the old testament, God chose shepherds to be raised to kings and prophets. It is no wonder that this profession was once again front and center to a very important Divine revelation.

Shepherds were not highly ranked in society. However, there did have a significant place in the Old Testament and daily life at that time. Jesus, once He began His ministry, spoke often of this profession as a metaphor for God's relationship with us. Although shepherds were not highly regarded, without them, life in Jesus's day would have been much more difficult. Shepherds cared for the flocks that produced meat, wool, and sacrificial offerings. They were the salt of the earth, so to speak. Everyone in Jesus's society knew that these largely uneducated people were responsible for life as they knew it. They were all familiar with shepherding as a job. So His use of them in parables was understandable.

Although we lack everyday examples of real shepherds in our lives, we still have some of the same duties. All parents are called to shepherd their children physically to keep them from harm and in the ways of the Lord. As Catholics (Christians) we are also called to shepherd unbelievers into the Church. Our shepherding isn't quite as obvious as in Jesus's time, but it is still hard work with very little gratitude. in Jesus's days the sheep (or goats) knew their shepherd's voice. Today, our children know our voice, but seldom seem to listen to it over all the other noises present in our homes. I
Jesus's times the shepherds physically lead the sheep by walking ahead of them or behind them. When they walked in front of them, it was example that the sheep followed. Today, as Catholics (Christians) we are still called to lead by example. However, there are so many noises and nefarious examples that finding a good one can be difficult. As a Catholic mother, I know that my actions, words, and lessons are vital to my children's well-being. I strive to walk in the Good Shepherd's footsteps.

No comments:

Total Pageviews

Smiling already at 2 weeks

Smiling already at 2 weeks
Rachel has been smiling as a response to other people since day one.

And two shall become one...

And two shall become one...
In 2006, Andrew & I became one before God and family! Shortly thereafter we became 3 with the birth of Simon in 2008... Then 4 with the addition of Rachel in 2009!

Erika's Miracle Journey Continues's Fan Box