Dear Sacred Heart Family,
Do you know the Good Shepherd? This Sunday, Jesus tells us in the Gospel, “I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me.” Many of us may not quickly turn to the Good Shepherd as our “go to” image of God. However, during this Easter Season, perhaps we can learn to. When this is our fundamental image or perception of the Good Lord, we can more easily learn to spend time in His Presence (in prayer and contemplation), and learn to “enjoy” God and His very deep, personal Love for us.
Someone who understood this was a brilliant doctor from Italy. In fact, Maria Montessori was the first woman to become a medical doctor in Italy. She did clinical work among children, analyzing how they learn, and how they interact with their environment. Her great insights were that children absorb knowledge almost effortlessly, and they never tire of manipulating their environment. We might say that children are sponges, and we understand that kids love to spread their toys around, draw on everything, and build castles.
Montessori taught children about Jesus through His parables, especially that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who loves His sheep. Children naturally learn to love this Good Shepherd, even before they discover that they are his sheep. Dr. Montessori was convinced that children and God have a unique type of relationship that is very profound. Her aim was to respond to the child’s need to “help me to know God by myself.” Have we ever learned to know God on our own terms, by our self?
Many of us perhaps have, or perhaps have not, had this experience. Did you ever know Jesus as the Good Shepherd? Do you realize you are His sheep? Perhaps this week we can invite Jesus into our hearts as the Good Shepherd. Let’s ask Him for the grace to know Him and realize that He knows, understands and deeply loves us. God is so good to us, especially knowing that we are weak, wounded and often broken. May the Mercy and Kindness of the Good Shepherd encourage and heal our hearts and our lives this week. Amen!
In Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart,
Fr. Bjorn Lundberg