By Donna Luna-Hernandez
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me. ~John 10:14
I’ve often heard the myth of the good shepherd breaking the leg of the wayward lamb so it could no longer run off and lead the other sheep astray. The shepherd would nurse the lamb back to health so that he would learn to love, trust, and obey the shepherd. After researching the story, I found some shepherds employ a leg brake (a weight attached to a sheep’s leg) to those who like to wander. It prevents the sheep from wandering too far before the shepherd notices. As the sheep remains near the shepherd, it learns to trust and follow him.
This Scripture also takes me back to an ACTS retreat. If you’re not familiar with ACTS, it is a 3-day Catholic retreat. My particular ACTS weekend fell on Good Shepherd Sunday; therefore, it was the theme of our retreat.
This retreat is designed to help retreatants (His sheep) journey and grow in their relationship with the Lord and the church community. Accomplished through a focus on:
- Adoration and daily prayer,
- A call to Community in the parish as a member of the Body of Christ,
- Theology, which encourages the study of Scripture and our beautiful Catholic faith, and
- These three emphasize and promote the virtue of Service – to our Lord, the parish, and one another.
Members of the ACTS team (His flock, so to speak) offer presentations focusing on Adoration, Community, Theology, and Service, hence the name ACTS. Unique testimonies share experiences of despair but finding hope, of experiencing hurt but offering and receiving forgiveness, of being lost but then found.
In John 10:11-18, we read of a hired man who runs away because he has no concern for the sheep. However, Jesus reminds us He is the Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for His sheep. Furthermore, we are not an unknown flock, for He what joy to hear, “I know my sheep, and mine know me” (John 10:14).
Our theme song for the ACTS weekend was The Good Shepherd by Tommy Walker which reminded Jesus’ flock of his promises. Let’s use a line from that song as today’s prayer:
He lays down His life for me
I will follow where He leads
No one can steal me away
I can hear Him calling my name
Call to Action
As today is also a day, we honor our priestly shepherds, offer some small sacrifice and/or prayer for priests and their intentions.
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