I missed writing about Good Shepherd’s Sunday yesterday because I was too busy on my last day with my friend in Barcelona. I was acutely aware though that it was Good Shepherd’s Sunday. I have been since my former pastor passed away on this feast day a few years ago. He was a good shepherd who is sorely missed by his flock.
Today’s readings continue to talk about the Good Shepherd whose voice is known to his sheep. Sheep do not follow strangers; they only run to the shepherd because they recognize his voice. What comfort must be found in this voice! I suspect it is the same joy that erupts in humans when we hear the whispers of the Holy Trinity our lives.
Tonight ends my time here abroad but not my pilgrimage. I will continue to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd who will guide me. I have had no real profound insights into my illness or my remaining life choices. That is not to say that I have not learned some new lessons about myself. I have spent two weeks traveling with my Beloved and we have had a remarkable time. I have been blessed abundantly and for that I am grateful.
I think this trip helped me to step outside my illness because people did not know I was sick. No one knew of my cancer so no one treated me with kid gloves. I pushed myself a number of times, while listening to the Voice that guided me. The first reading has this line that Peter says: Who was I that I could hinder God? I am not sure exactly what God has planned to bear fruit from this time, but I am sure there will be a harvest. I know this because I know the voice of my Beloved. I have heard it before and I know that there will be a plan, even if it is not clear at this precise moment.
God sent Jesus so that we might have life, and have it in abundance. God is generous and the gifts keep giving. As with any retreat or spiritual quest, the Mystery will unfold as it should when the time is right. I await that moment and that Voice.
To whose Voice do you listen to most attentively?
How do you hinder God?
Good Shepherd, protect me from the thieves who call my name and try to entice me out the gate. Keep me attentive to only your gentle, quiet voice. Don’t let me hinder you. Open the gate and let me come through when you call. Amen.