2 June 2017
As disciples of Christ, what Jesus says to Peter can certainly be applied to us; the call to self-denial and being good caretakers of our brothers and sisters. If we’re going to actually be followers and students of the Lord, then what Jesus says to Peter applies to us as well. And yet, at the same time, there’s a difference.
And the difference is that before we’re sent to be Christ for others, others were sent to be Christ for us first. As much as the Lord Jesus is our Teacher, the Apostles are, too; especially Peter. In the gospel today we don’t see the commissioning of a fellow sheep in the flock; we see the formation of another shepherd for the flock. There’s the difference.
We’re certainly called by the Lord to go out and bring his grace to others. But even before that we’re called to receive his grace ourselves, from those he has sent to us. It’s good every now and then to recall those men and women who have been shepherds for us. Of course, there’s our bishop and the pope. There are also giants in the world of spirituality: St. Teresa of Avila, St. Benedict, St. Francis, our Blessed Mother.
Many people gave their lives to the Lord so they could lead us to him. As we gather at the altar today to offer a sacrifice of thanks to God, we can also give thanks for all those shepherds who’ve shown us the way to the altar in the first place.