Prayer: Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate, first tabernacle of the Word, teach me too to receive the Word, to Love Him, and be with Him dwelling within my soul. Amen.
"Good has become such a vague word in our speech. When asked, "How are you?" it is the go-to response that could have a 1,000 different meanings. Perhaps this dilution of "good" also dulls the force of Jesus' words in our ears when he tells us, "I am the good shepherd." Do we think of him as generically "good" like the person we passed at the grocery store, or let His goodness take full form. Our "good" often leaves room for better--but Jesus means "good" in a quite absolute and definitive way. Do we believe Him? A helpful way of examining our hearts on this point is to look at our willingness to surrender. Have you ever been in a place where you weren't certain you really should be there? Perhaps because you realized a little too late that you didn't really belong there, that it was awkward. Or perhaps because the situation really wasn't the best, perhaps it wasn't the safest environment. In such a situation you could be conversing with others and acting "normal" but all the while your mind is occupied elsewhere, constantly evaluating and asking, "Should I be here?" Without certainty that the present moment is good, our minds and hearts won't find the permission needed to really be where we are.
When Jesus says, "I am the Good Shepherd," He calls us to a different mode of existence. He calls us to be free. To be free by trusting His care for us. We can easily fall into the temptation of becoming "skiddish" sheep--it's humorous to think of a sheep in pasture that won't relax, that will only nibble and then jerks its head back up to patrol the tree-line and examine the tall grass with wide eyes, like a wild animal would. Rather, sheep in pasture, certain of the shepherd's care, normally graze freely, totally in the "present moment" with an ear to the shepherd's voice. Because of His presence they know they are safe.
Perhaps during Lectio listen to Jesus tell you Who He is. Ask his help for the "tall grass" that keeps preoccupying you, stealing your peace and joy. Ask Him to help you know His voice, His presence. He who is "faithful unto death" is with us.
Prayer: Glory Be...