Letting the Shepherd Carry Us Home…

In Luke’s Gospel, chapter 15:3-7, Jesus tells the familiar story of the shepherd who goes into the wilderness in search of his poor lost sheep. When he finds it, “…he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing…”, and brings it home. I recently read the following from Ruth Burrows, a Carmelite nun, and was deeply touched by her reflection:

The sheep was hopelessly lost. Unable to find its way back to the fold, it lay helpless in the wilderness. The shepherd braves the wilderness and, at cost of great suffering, finds where it lies. The sheep is too blind, too crippled to follow his shepherd; he is not asked to. Joyfully, the shepherd hoists it into his weary, wounded shoulders and carries it home, exulting. God undertook all the labor of our salvation.

Can we glimpse something of what this means for us? God has done it all for us. We do not have to find ways of atoning, of making satisfaction, of making ourselves righteous and pleasing to God. We cannot take one single step of ourselves to draw near to God. God has opened his arms to us. They were always opened but we were blind, stubborn, crippled. He sent out his Word to heal us: Jesus, the divine Word, came as our servant, our shepherd, our savior to carry us back to the Father’s heart. Come, and share your master’s joy…

Utterly amazing grace!

Excerpt from “Love Unknown” by Ruth Burrows, OCD; Continuum International Publishing Group; London; 2011.

%d bloggers like this: