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THURSDAY, January 26 TITUS AND TIMOTHY, Companions of Saint Paul
Mark 6:34b And Jesus had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
One of my favorite icons is the Good Shepherd. In most versions, Jesus is carrying a lamb around his neck. I have a copy of this icon that sits in my prayer corner: Christ gazes out at the beholder, and, in his arms, a lamb gazes up at the Good Shepherd in peaceful adoration. I turn to this icon regularly whenever I long to be a sheep in such loving intimacy with our Savior.
In today’s gospel reading, we are called sheep without a shepherd. I think of viral news stories about sheep who have been lost; as domesticated creatures, they can’t shed their wool so need to be sheared every year. I have also seen flocks of sheep endlessly circle cars because they’re each following the sheep in front of them.
We all need a good shepherd’s loving care. As humans, we’re inclined to wander after our own whims, as selfish or noble as they might be. Jesus, out of deep compassion for us, offers himself up to us. Jesus teaches us many things, including how, simply, to follow him.
MOVING FORWARD: In what ways do you allow the Lord to be your shepherd? How often do you follow your own lead or that of others instead?
PRAY for the Diocese of Paraguay (South America)
Psalm 50 * Psalm 59, Psalm 60 | Isa. 49:13-23 | Gal. 3:1-14 | Mark 6:30-46