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Sunday 3 May 2020 - Reflection

Jesus and Joseph (Good Shepherds)

Today’s Gospel speaks about Jesus as a Good Shepherd. And we know the qualities of a good shepherd. There are different ways to look at the qualities of a good shepherd. I can recall some of them as I look closely at the scripture, like he is good, he protects, guides, nurtures and lays down his life for his.

We are called to become good shepherds like Jesus with the qualities above. The question is ‘how can we become good shepherds like Jesus with our own limitations, weaknesses and even sins?’

I am writing this reflection on Friday the first day of May when we celebrate the optional memorial of St Joseph the Worker. We may contemplate on Jesus the ideal and perfect good shepherd. However, we probably can take a look for moment at St Joseph who was with his limitations, weakness and even sin, tried his best to become a ‘good shepherd’ for his own family of Jesus and Mary.

Pope Francis mentioned about two good qualities of Joseph a ‘shepherd’ for the holy family. The first is Silent, Obedient. The Pope said: “He is the man who doesn’t speak but obeys, the man of tenderness, the man capable of carrying forward the promises so that they might become solid, certain; the man who guarantees the stability of the Kingdom of God, the paternity of God, our sonship as chil-dren of God. I like to think of Joseph as the guardian of weaknesses, of our weaknesses too: he is able to give birth to so many beautiful things from our weaknesses, even from our sins.” The second is ‘his ability to dream’. The Pope said: “Today I want to ask, grant to all of us the ability to dream, that when we dream great things, beautiful things, we might draw near to the dream of God, the things God dreams about us. [I ask] that he might give to young people – because he was young – the capacity to dream, to risk, to undertake the difficult tasks they have seen in dreams”.

We are all in a very difficult time. If the coronavirus is caused by human failures/sins, then we need to reflect on how we treat other beings including the environment. If our action in the past has caused this human tragedy, then this is the time to commit ourselves to care for nature. Jesus is a Good Shepherd who comes to save the world. St Joseph is called to be a good shepherd for the holy family. We are all also called to be good shepherds to care, recreate and nurture our world that it will become a better place to live. This is certainly a big dream. Keep dreaming for it like Joseph, while doing simple things to show that we care for our world. Have a blessed Sunday.

Father Alo Lamere MSC

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