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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sts Timothy and Titus

"The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you." Mk 4:24

The word pastor, though ancient, is not always completely accessible to people in the 21st century, especially those from the so called "developed world."  Most of us don't know many shepherds and so are unfamiliar with their role and importance.

Shepherds in the ancient world, though from the underclass, played an important role in the society, especially for the poor. Because the poor could not afford their own shelters for their sheep at night, one shepherd would watch over the sheep of many other peasants, and it was his job to protect the sheep, even with his own life. At times, he would even lie down in front of the opening of the sheep pen at night to ward off predators. Thus, in the Old Testament, God is often pictured as a shepherd, someone who not only created us, but shelters and protects us, especially when we are in great need.

Sts Timothy and Titus are recipients of the so called pastoral epistles, letters from St. Paul with lots of practical advice about how to help the people given to them for their guidance and protection. For example in 2 Timothy, Paul writes, "Avoid foolish and ignorant debates, for you know they breed quarrels. (2:24) How differentt all our lives would be if we heard and interiorized this advice. 

Today, ask God to give you the gifts of a humble pastor.

How do you see yourself called to pastor others?

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