And he will separate them one from the another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Matthew 25: 32-33
When I heard the sheep and goats reference in this Sunday’s Gospel, I had a flashback to a wonderful story from a few years back. It’s the story of the perfect advice from a wise mom to her kids. As we seem to be all tangled up in picking sides these days, this seemed to add some wisdom to the importance of picking the TRULY right side.
In the parable of the sheep and the goats, Jesus is separating the sheep; the obedient loving followers from the rebellious, stiff necked, defiant goats. Now, anybody who reads this scripture wants to be a sheep for sure! In fact, most of our journey to Christ centers on being more “sheeplike” so we wind up at his right hand. Recently I visited with a really great mom. I’ve had the privilege of teaching a few of her children and they are completely cool kids; knowing the parents explains it all. They are a faithful, prayerful, loving, big Catholic family. The mom will admit they try really hard to get it right but sometimes it all goes a little crazy. Mornings can be the craziest time of day with clothes, breakfast, lunches and the bus that always sees to show up a wee bit before everyone is ready. She said she had to come up with a quick, direct and attention grabbing way to hammer home a message about how to live the day! I asked her what she said and she winked and told me I should ask the kids. So, I did just that.
First thing the next morning I asked he son what his mom said to remind him to be a disciple. He told me that when he and his siblings leave the house, his mom yells to them, “Have a good day and DON’T BE A GOAT!” Four simple words…don’t be a goat! How’s that for a living color example for life! I asked the young man what he thought his mom meant and he smiled and said, “thats her way of saying veer toward God’s right hand and make sure you don’t do stuff you’ll be judged negatively for and then get sent to the left because it’s kind of hard to get from the left back to the right, it’s just easier to stay to the right and not be a goat.”
A Seed To Plant: Make yourself a little sign that says Don’t Be A Goat! Then take some prayerful time to identify the places in your life you act a little more like a goat than a sheep.
Blessings on your day!
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