17 Aug 2016
Sometimes I think, “Why can’t I be more like . . . St. Francis, or St. Benedict, or our Blessed Mother; why can’t I be more radically devoted to God like them?” Or, “why can’t I have the spiritual depth like . . . St. Augustine, or St. Clare, or St. Francis de Sales?” And, “why can’t I have the kind of relationship with Christ like . . . everybody else seems to have?”
And, in that, I suppose we’re not that different from the worker in the vineyard who wondered why the last guy hired got the same pay as somebody who worked all day. It’s easy to focus on what everybody else seems to have, and to overlook our own blessings. And the vineyard owner’s response to that is basically, “Don’t worry about the deal I made with the other person, focus on the deal I made with you.”
None of us here is Saint Francis, or Saint Clare, or Saint Whomever. God’s relationship with them is different than his relationship with each of us. The beautiful thing to keep in mind is that God is in relationship with each of us. “The Lord is my Shepherd.” He’s the Shepherd of a lot of people; but he’s nonetheless MY Shepherd. And our Shepherd has made a deal with each one of us, individually.
Regardless of how others’ relationships with God look, it shouldn’t distract us from our own relationship with the Lord. We might ask, “Why can’t I be more like . . . Saint Whomever?” To which Jesus says, “I didn’t make you to be Saint Whomever; I made you to be you, and I made you personally to know and love me.”
The Lord is my Shepherd; my personal Shepherd. May we take that to heart today and always.