It was as peaceful as it could be with three very chatty little girls remaining in the house.
We attended Mass as a family after the boys got back—the 5 p.m. Sunday service at the Cathedral. I was happy to have this chance to shake things up a bit—a different church, a different pastor, a different congregation trying their best to belt out those hymns.
Hymn singing is so not a Catholic’s strong suit. We need to work on that.
The priest I knew because he is the brother of a woman from our parish. He is an awesome, holy man. (Jamie and Suzie, do you remember the priest who said Mass at last year’s homeschooling conference? This is the one.*)
I’ll confess to feeling disappointed when the deacon read the Gospel, but then—big smile—my much-loved priest ascended the pulpit to preach the homily. I’m sorry for my bias but I knew from experience that he gives good sermons…
…and he didn’t let me down this time.
He wished us all a blessed Good Shepherd Sunday. He said that as a seminarian, he’d been able to spend three months in the Holy Land, and what a difference that had made in his understanding of Sacred Scripture.
One of his fellow seminarians was walking with a local Muslim outside of Bethlehem. When they saw a shepherd tending in his flock in the distance, the seminarian remarked that “The Good Shepherd” was one of the metaphors adopted by Jesus.
Say no more. The seminarian’s friend called the shepherd over and acted as translator for the conversation that followed. Eyes twinkling, the shepherd told the seminarian to “Call my sheep.”
The young man obliged, somewhat embarrassedly. “Um…here, sheep!”
The flock blinked once or twice and kept on grazing.
The shepherd then gave his command—a single word, as it were—and the sheep immediately lined up behind him. He said that his flock could be grazing in a herd of countless other sheep and, upon hearing his voice and his voice alone, would come to him.
Because they know their shepherd’s voice.
Of course, this got me thinking. Do I really know my shepherd’s voice? I don’t think I do and yet, I long to.
“Do you know the sound of Our Lord’s voice?” I asked my husband after Mass.
“Yes,” he said. “It’s deep and gravelly.”
So no help there but I’m still thinking. My home is noisy, certainly, but I know—I am convinced, truly—that the voice of my shepherd can be heard above the din.
All for the greater glory of God,
*One more anecdote about this holy priest and then I’ll let you get on with your day. We were on our way out after the Mass at last May’s homeschooling conference. I asked Jamie if she’d mind going over to say hello to Fr. C. and being Jamie, of course she didn’t. In fact, I think it was Jamie who told me to ask this good priest for a blessing—a blessing on my (then) barren womb, a blessing for a new baby.
He was more than happy to give his benediction…and I’ll probably miss this year’s conference on account of it. : )