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"Feed My Sheep"

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

by Fr. David M. Knight

Mark 10:13-16. Year II: James 5:13-20; Psalm 141:1-8.

Parents were bringing their little children to Jesus for him to touch. His disciples didn’t think they should bother him. Jesus didn’t see it that way: “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them.”

Jesus never lost his focus. He was immersed in the work of the Kingdom. That meant loving and ministering to people all the time. Later he would give Peter the First Commandment of pastoral ministry: “Feed my sheep!” (John 21:15-17). Day in and day out, whatever else we do or neglect, and whatever rules we have to rethink, bend or adapt, the one thing Jesus asks us to do is “Feed my sheep.”

He adds a warning: “Whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Openness. Children are open to everything. To them the world is a wonderland to discover. The storytellers tell us the rivers run with wine “only to recall that first glorious moment when we discovered they ran with water!” (Chesterton). Little children take magic for granted. They haven’t yet drawn borders around their minds. “It is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.”

The word “catholic,” from kata holos, “throughout the whole,” means that, as Catholics, in our spirit we should be without borders: nationalistic, social, denominational, historical, philosophical, theological, mystical. It does not mean we have no clear doctrines or defined answers. But we are always open to more: more truth, more clarity, new perspectives, the riches of different cultures. Vatican II declared, “The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in [non-Christian] religions,” praising specifically the insights of Hinduism, Buddhism, and the faith of Jews and Muslims. She urges us to “enter… into discussion and collaboration with members of other religions” and to “acknowledge, preserve and encourage the spiritual and moral truths found among non-Christians, together with their social life and culture” (Nostra Aetate, no. 2).

The Good News itself transcends all human thought and expression. If we ever get locked into the particular way we learned and were taught to do things, we will never experience “the breadth and length and height and depth,” and “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19). If we have truly heard the Good News we will always be hungry for more.

Initiative: Share, don’t shove, your faith. Show interest in others’ beliefs.

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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