"You have fed off their milk, worn their wool, and slaughtered the fatlings, but the sheep you have not pastured." Ez 34:2-3
Ezekiel's condemnation of Israel's shepherds pulls no punches. The shepherds enjoy the fruits of their vocations, but care nothing for the sheep themselves. It is a sorry story, and one we have all known. As soon as we take for granted the simple gifts of food, shelter and family, we drift into an empty and shallow life that fails to acknowledge the glory of God each day.
Mary, on the other hand, is an icon of gratitude, a woman wrapped in grace whose every word and action in the scripture is other centered. Not only does she say yes to the angel's invitation to be the mother of Jesus despite having very few answers to her questions, she stands up for the young couple at Cana who have no wine and accompanies her son to his horrific death. Mary never forgets who she is and how much God loves her in the middle of her personal struggles. No wonder she is call Queen.
Today, shepherd those in your care. Don't worry about how much or little they produce.
Who has shepherded you without concern for themselves?