Ezekiel 34:1-11, Psalm 23:1-6, Matthew 20:1-16
My Beloved, the call to be shepherds to the people of God is a vocation that cannot be taken lightly. In these verses the Lord condemns the shepherds of Israel who had been appointed to guard His chosen people instead they exploited their position for personal gain and neglected their duty to care for the flock. As a result, the sheep suffered, they got lost, they fell prey to thieves, they got sick and injured from being forsaken for so long.
The shepherd are warned that a day of reckoning will come when they will be asked to give an account and God will deal severely with those who put the sheep at risk. He promised that He Himself will watch over and care for His flock and He will be their Good Shepherd.
God has been faithful to His promise - He sent You to be our Good Shepherd and You watch over us more tenderly than a mother her baby.
My Beloved, You are my Good Shepherd and I am the sheep of Your flock. You know me, care for me and provide all I need to live a fruitful life. You know when I need to rest, to be fed, when I need a drink of cool, clear water to quench my thirst and refresh my soul. You lead me through Your Ward and through the Sacraments so I will not stray from the path of truth. Even when the way is dark and narrow, You are with me so I need not be afraid. You hold my hand and carry me when I am weary, sick and have no strength of my own. You feed me with the Bread of Angels, You bless me abundantly, the enemy knows I belong to You and will dare not approach to harm me.
I know that You will remain with me all my days and You will take me home to the place created for me in heaven there I will live with You eternally.
My Beloved, we who are baptized are commissioned to go out to the ends of the earth with a mission to preach the good news of salvation. Sadly, although we are equipped to do so we remain indifferent to our vocation. You remind us over and over again that the harvest is ready and there are no laborers to bring it in. The workers stand idly by making excuses for not heeding the call. But You are faithful and desire that all be saved and so You come after us until the last hour reminding us of our call to discipleship. It is not enough that we save our own soul but we are also to required to save the soul of our brothers and sisters.