March 16, 2013

Feed My Sheep

There is an old story that tells how Satan summoned his aides to plan a strategy against those who worshipped Jesus. As the Satanical pep talk concluded, the Angel of Darkness made this emotional speech:
“Now get out there and lie, steal and cheat. Do anything to stop those Christians from winning the lost. But be careful. If those Christians ever start to act like they talk, all Heaven will break loose!”
Some people think that it’s only what we don’t do that identifies us as Christians . . . don’t gamble, don’t swear, don’t lie, don’t cheat, etc.

But Jesus was action oriented. He was a doer and a healer who spoke often about what is required of those who choose to follow him. In one of his appearances after his resurrection, Jesus’ instructions to Peter were simple and direct. Three times the Risen Savior asked his disciple if he loved him, and each time, when Peter reaffirmed his love, Jesus said “Feed my sheep.”

Pope Francis, the new leader of the Catholic Church, is a doer. As the former archbishop of Buenos Aires, he dedicated his ministry to the poor in Argentina and around the world.  Monsignor Robert Ritchie, rector of St.Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, said, “I know God has chosen a holy father who will do exactly as he was told to do: “Feed his sheep.”

The next time you hear a sermon consider the words from the first chapter of James: “Be doers of the word, and not merely . . . hearers.” In the words of Jesus, “Feed my sheep.”