Our readings on this last Sunday of the Church year focuses on shepherding. The first reading from the prophet Ezekiel has God saying: “I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep.” The prophet goes on to say that God will “rescue them, pasture them, give them rest, seek out the lost, bring back the strayed, bind up the injured and heal the sick.”
In the Gospel we hear Jesus tell his famous parable about the last judgment at the end of the world and separating people into groups of sheep and goats (Matthew chapter 25). The sheep are those who did those things the prophet spoke of in our first reading, attending to the needy and sick, while the goats were those who overlooked others’ needs.
As people of God we are all called by our baptism to shepherd others – to rescue them, pasture them, give them rest, seek out the lost, bring back the strayed, bind up the injured and heal the sick. This is not simply a call for the ordained, it is everyone’s call. Please, be sure you are among the chosen ones at the final judgment, attend to the needy, seek out those who have strayed, bring healing and comfort to the sick and be the living presence of the Good Shepherd. Peace.