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Wednesday, August 21, 1996

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Pope St. Pius X

Ezekiel 34:1-11
Psalm 23
Matthew 20:1-16

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"Thus says the Lord God: 'Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves!' " —Ezekiel 34:2

If we love Jesus, we will feed, tend, and shepherd His sheep, that is, His people (Jn 21:15-17). However, many Christians think that you have to be leading a church to be a shepherd. On the contrary, the Lord considers parents, leaders of all kinds, employers, and all Christians to have some shepherding responsibilities. God has put a flock in your daily life and He wants you to give this flock a shepherd's care (1 Pt 5:2).

Do you consider yourself to be the pastor of your family, neighborhood, office, or factory? You probably don't. Therefore, you are probably not strengthening the weak, healing the sick, binding up the injured, bringing back the strayed, and seeking the lost (Ez 34:4). You are probably not a good shepherd because you think you are only a sheep.

Repent of your ignorance and irresponsibility concerning your shepherding responsibilities. The Lord will have mercy on you. He may give you a full day's pay even if you start to shepherd your children, neighbors, employees, or co-workers in the eleventh hour of a twelve-hour shift (Mt 20:9). Go to Confession. Ask the Good Shepherd for mercy. Then be a good shepherd, and thereby a good sheep.

Prayer:  Father, may I lay down my life for the sheep You have given me (Jn 10:11, 15, 17).

Promise:  "Thus the last shall be first and the first shall be last." —Mt 20:16

Praise:  At the beginning of the 20th century, Pope Pius strongly encouraged daily Bible reading. His call laid the groundwork for you to read this teaching today. Praise You, Jesus, the Living Word!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, January 29, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 5, 1996