Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
“Lord you know everything; you know that I love you” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:17
Of all the things Jesus could have asked Peter to do, he was saddled with the task of feeding the sheep. This line jumped off the page for this part-time farmer's wife. I wondered if I were Peter, would I have questioned what He wanted the sheep to eat, what rations were appropriate, or what feeding schedule should be followed? As my mind got muddied in the practical, I realized it was more about loving, tending, and trusting than schedules and details.
Like Peter, we are called to feed His sheep. My sheep used to park their feet right under my dining room table and even when I was stressed and tired and my feeding efforts were met with curled up noses and mild protest, I was called to offer what they needed…out of love. Sometimes the sheep I’m called to feed are pre-teen students in flocks of thirty who take up a seat in my classroom. Sometimes the sheep fill the audience at a parish mission, event, or retreat the Father calls me to present. Sometimes the sheep are easy to feed and tend, like my husband or my grandson Lewis, the cutest sheep of them all. Each person He puts in my path is like a sheep that needs to be fed, tended, and cared about but I don’t always see it that way.
If I’m being completely honest, some days I don’t really feel like feeding the sheep. Sometimes I’d prefer they just fed themselves and left me alone because sheep aren’t always grateful and they don’t always gobble up what I offer. Today's Gospel reminds me that doesn’t matter at all. What matters is that in feeding the sheep, I am loving Jesus, and that should always be a mission I’m signed up for. If I want to properly adjust my servant’s heart, I suppose I should say; my good shepherd, wrap my sour heart in Your love and give me a heart for service. Help me recognize Your sheep in need and offer them a little of the love and compassion You offer me at every moment of the day.
A Seed To Plant: Who are the sheep in your life that are hard to feed, and how can you change your mindset and heart to do it out of love for Jesus?
Blessings on your day!
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Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com