As Pope Francis’ papal visit takes place, I think of an adaptation of Psalm 23 (The Good Shepherd). It was Pope Francis who said that the Church should imitate this admirable figure. “Each one of us can do our part by having the attitude of the Good Shepherd, who knows every one of his sheep, and excludes no one from his infinite love.” He also said the Church should be like a mother who welcomes all her children and is willing to give her life for them.
He helps us to relax.
He leads parents to silent prayer.
He reenergises our families.
He guides us with collective wisdom in his own name.
Even though we encounter a severe crisis of faith,
we will fear no evil,
for you are with our woundedness.
Your warm blanket comforts our children.
You prepare us well in the face of life’s stresses.
You bless each partner in abundant grace.
Your goodness and love will follow us all the days
of our lives.
and we will glorify Jesus forever.
Children often teach us most in life. In the same manner by our example we too play a huge role in how they perceive life. This is also true in our personal relationship with God, a relationship that helps us at all moments in our lives.
Six-year-old Dan decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it on the floor. He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor which by now had a few tracks left by his kitten.
Dan was covered with flour and getting frustrated. He wanted this to be something very good for Mom and Dad, but it was getting very bad. He didn’t know what to do next, whether to put it all into the oven or on the stove, and he didn’t know how the stove worked! Suddenly, he saw his kitten licking from the bowl of mix and reached to push her away, knocking the egg carton to the floor. Frantically, he tried to clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the eggs, getting his pyjamas white and sticky.
Just then he saw Dad standing at the door. Big crocodile tears welled up in Dan’s eyes. All he’d wanted to do was something good, but he’d made a terrible mess. He was sure a scolding was coming, but his father just watched him.
Then, walking through the mess, he picked up his crying son, hugged him and loved him, getting his own pyjamas white and sticky in the process.
That’s how God deals with us. We try to do something good in life, but it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky, we insult a friend, we can’t stand our job, or our health goes sour. Sometimes, we just stand there in tears because we can’t think of anything else to do. That’s when God picks us up and loves us and forgives us, even though some of our mess gets all over Him. But just because we might mess up, we can’t stop trying for God or for others. Sooner or later, we’ll get it right, and then they’ll be glad we tried. In the same vain life has so many challenges, but in time and trust…..All will be well.