To Shepherd Well

The Office of Readings in the recent past offered for our reflection the theme of being a good shepherd, which I would summarize as meaning looking out for the good of the people without concern for our own status, places of honor, or any self-interest. I found myself coming back to the thought of how a good shepherd in today’s environment of secularism and relativism ought preach to the people. How does a good shepherd address the social and political issues that confront us, and I am thinking especially of the attacks being leveled against the unborn, against family life and against marriage.

I am astounded that good faithful Catholics will often react with negativity should a deacon, priest or bishop speak out from the pulpit or in the marketplace against these attacks. When we do, we are accused of partisanship. My brothers and sisters in the faith turn against efforts by the clergy to urge the faithful to live out their faith in the voting box. Why, I ask?

The Lord said, “What good is it for one to say, ‘Peace, good luck, keep warm and well fed!’ but refuse to lift a finger to meet this one’s needs?” Translated, “What good does it do you if you say you are pro-life, pro-family, and pro-marriage, but then do nothing in the political realm to affirm those beliefs?”

To shepherd well the flock, we who do that shepherding must be willing to take the flack, to take the criticism, to be accused of partisanship or discrimination so as to speak the truth with love. Truth and love…. both of these in today’s world are called into question. Many do not believe either really exists. Too many have never experienced real love because they have been caught up in the sexualization of human love. Too many have rejected the truth by relativizing it and demonizing anyone who purports to speak with authority regarding truth, truth ultimately originating in God, who is truth.

Shepherding is not for the faint hearted.

My brothers and sisters in the faith, live out your faith. Live it in your homes. Live it in your local communities and your parishes. Live it out in your workplaces. Live it out in world of politics and the economy. Live it out when you enter that voting booth.

It is your calling… it is your duty.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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