I love the extension of the image of sheep and shepherd from Sunday into the week. It’s as if Jesus was laying out some future plans for the world while he was still in this realm. Actually there is a very inclusive line in this morning’s gospel (JN 10: 11-18) that is very timely for our world right now.
“I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold,” he says. “These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd.”
While I’m not envisioning any kind of syncretism here, I would wish there to be some unity of vision among us in response to the coronavirus. (I realize this is huge stretch from topic to topic but it connected in my mind and heart at least tangentially.) So why is it so difficult to understand that we need to protect ourselves and others from what is clearly invisible? It’s not about religion or cultural practice but of a desire to assure the health, not only of ourselves and the people in our own country but also of all nations. It’s about survival on a broad scale and we are as responsible for it as everyone else in the world – and especially for those most vulnerable.
As states begin to open up to “normal life” again, I wonder whether we are destined to keep repeating our short sightedness. Will we wake up to a higher consciousness that calls us to care not only for ourselves and our loved ones but also for other “flocks” different from ourselves? What can I do to work toward that oneness of mind and care of our planet? What about you?