Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My Home Is Within You, O God

By Beth DeCristofaro

Those who had been scattered by the persecution … went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but Jews. There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however … proclaiming the Lord Jesus.  The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. (Acts 11:19-21)

They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
“This man was born there.”
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
“My home is within you.” 
(Psalm 87:6-7)

My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.  No one can take them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.  The Father and I are one.” (John 10:27-30)

You say that you are my sheep,
why aren't you following me?
You say that I am your shepherd,
why aren't you following me?
My sheep hear my voice, they come running to me;
and you say I am your shepherd,
why aren't you following me?

I told my sheep to love one another,
even your enemies too;
but you have love for only those
who have that love for you.
And you say I am your shepherd;
why aren't you following me?
(“The Shepherd’s Song”, Mississippi Children’s Choir, http://www.lyricstime.com/mississippi-children-s-choir-the-shepherd-s-song-lyrics.html)

One day I asked a man who had dementia how he was feeling that day, and he answered me “I feel a little lost.”  In answer to the offer of ice cream for dessert he responded “I will have to see how it looks.”  Now this is a man who loved his ice cream but on that day the circuitry in his brain was causing him to feel out of touch, lost, to his familiar surroundings.  He had eaten a large breakfast late in the morning and perhaps sitting down for lunch while not yet hungry had disconcerted him.  Thankfully he was not sad or afraid, just “lost” at the moment.

Jesus’ disciples were lost after his execution and Israel was lost in exile.  But God’s hand guided them all.  No matter how lost within ourselves we might become.  No matter how far we stray after the gods of our own egos.  No matter how distant we find ourselves following after an imperfect, incomplete truth we hoped to own, the Shepherd is there.

Do we limit the Shepherd as we evaluate others as not real Catholics or poor Christians?  Make a point of speaking with someone whom we feel has lost their way or is not of God’s flock.  Listen closely to them, see the face of God in them.  Pray for them by picturing them in the Father’s hand sitting right next to you.

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