Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Matthew 9:32-38; Genesis 32:23-33

The eagles have a son entitled "Learn to Be Still"; it is from their album Hell Freezes Over.  Now I am not advertising that you may run out it get the album, trust me, I don't get any financial support from the eagles, but i was thinking of this song as I was reflecting on the reading for today.

This is verse of the song that struck me as I was reading the gospel, It's just another day in paradise 

"As you stumble to your bed 

You'd give anything to silence 
Those voices ringing in your head 
You thought you could find happiness 
Just over that green hill 
You thought you would be satisfied 
But you never will- 
Learn to be still 

We are like sheep without a shepherd 
We don't know how to be alone 
So we wander 'round this desert 
And wind up following the wrong gods home 

But the flock cries out for another 
And they keep answering that bell 
And one more starry-eyed messiah 
Meets a violent farewell- 
Learn to be still 
Learn to be still 

Now the flowers in your garden 
They don't smell so sweet 
Maybe you've forgotten 
The heaven lying at your feet 

There are so many contradictions 
In all these messages we send 
(We keep asking) 
How do I get out of here 
Where do I fit in? 
Though the world is torn and shaken 
Even if your heart is breakin' 
It's waiting for you to awaken 
And someday you will- 
Learn to be still 
Learn to be still 

The gospel of Matthew reports the following, "At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd."

How many of us live out this reality? How many of us experience people who have just been troubled and abandoned?

How often have we quit on people because they are overwhelming and exhausting to be around?

Sometimes we have to distance ourselves from that which suffocates recognizing that we are not the Messiah, we are not the one to fix the problems and the aches of the human heart.

Yet, at the same time, to be a "laborer for the harvest"  means as Richard Rohr points out, to go where the pain is.

Is this not what Jesus does.  Does he not risk being overwhelmed, suffocated, exhausted by the hopes, dreams, needs, pains of those he encounters, those who long for the shepherd.

It is our task as disciples not to be the shepherd but to bring the pain and the hurt to the shepherd; we are called to show them the face of the shepherd who comes to bear the pain, to take in to himself and heal it with the wounds of love that remain on the body pierced and broken and risen.

Our instinct is to run from the pain; our instinct is to seek self preservation; our natural instinct is in need of purification so that the instinct of faith can become a reality, where instead of focusing on ourselves we direct our focus outward and upward to heaven lying at our feet.

We let our pain, our hurt,  our brokenness communicate to that of others and in that sweet exchange the face of the Good Shepherd begins to take shape and his healing grace becomes our strength.

The flock cries out for another and they will follow anyone who makes the pain better, the hurt go away even if it is false; they want the kingdom and we are invited to spread the kingdom before them daily.

We don't have to get it right; we don't have to be perfect; we don't have to be completely healed; we just need to trust in Christ and let the Good Shepherd lead.

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