Each time I fall today, I will get back up again immediately, because I will have confidence in my Good Shepherd’s loving mercy
Introductory Prayer: Dear
Jesus, my Lord and God, I open my heart to your infinite love. I wish to listen and respond to the
inspirations that you wish to give me this morning. I believe in you. I hope in you. I love you.
Lord, you are my shepherd and the true meaning of my life.
Petition: Jesus, Good
Shepherd, give me the grace to open my heart to your mercy.
1. Not All Shepherds Are the
In today’s society, the image of the
shepherd doesn’t say as much as it did in Jesus’ time. Psalm 23 was probably one of Christ’s
favorite psalms, for he uses the image of the shepherd frequently: “The Lord is my shepherd; there
is nothing I shall want.” Sheep have a trusting relationship with their shepherd. Instinctively they
know that the shepherd will care for them. Christ is our shepherd who loves us. In our lives, other
people or material possessions can seem to promise to bring us be our happiness, causing us to
follow after them as if they were our shepherd. But when the real trial comes, they abandon us just
as a hired hand leaves the sheep when the wolf appears. Let us renew our commitment to Christ, the
Good Shepherd, since he is the true shepherd of our souls.
2. Searching Out the Lost
In every group of animals there is at
least one that seems to get distracted and eventually lost. In our lives we, too, can get distracted
and stray from the security of Christ and his way. Sin is what separates us from Christ. If we are
not careful, we can be easily seduced by the world, by the fascination of material goods or
pleasures, and then mistakenly place our security in them. Then, when we experience the emptiness
and spiritual hunger that comes from wandering from the Good Shepherd, we need only to recall that
he is waiting for to scoop us, his wayward sheep, up and to carry us back into the safety of his
fold. It is comforting and heartening to know that he longs for us to be reconciled with him, just
as a shepherd goes out in search of the lost sheep.
3. Let the Celebration
Anyone who has children and has
temporarily “lost” one of them can empathize with the joy God experiences when one of us is found
once again and reunited with him. We may try to outdo him in love and generosity, but that cannot
happen. His love surpasses all our imagining. Today, let us take a moment to talk to God about our
state in life and resolve to let him be actively present in our everyday living. Could there be any
better way to prepare for Christmas than to open the doors of our hearts? Christ is there, knocking,
asking to be allowed inside so he can heal us and make us whole again. It’s almost shocking to
discover that we can please him simply by turning to him and letting him pick us up from where we’ve
fallen and restore us to full friendship with him. Shouldn’t we permit Our Lord that pleasure,
especially when the only cost is admitting our tremendous need for him, confessing our sins and
inviting him back into our hearts, where he belongs?
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, I know my countless falls provide me countless occasions to encounter you as the Good
Shepherd, since without fail you come to pick me up again. Instead of wallowing in a sterile
self-pity at the misery of my sinfulness, I intend to delight more in your tender mercy. I know this
trusting attitude will please you.
Resolution: Each time I fall today, I will get back
up again immediately, because I will have confidence in my Good Shepherd’s loving mercy.