Shepherds For The Lost Sheep

Saturday of Week 1 in Advent

Is. 30:19-21, 23-26 & Mt. 9:35 – 10:1,6-8

The world in which Isaiah lived was not so very different from our own. He saw around him people who were in distress, suffering from the wounds and bruises which life had inflicted on them. They did not know which way to turn for comfort, but God had good news for them, which He conveyed through His prophet. He would hear their cry of distress and there would be an end to their suffering. All their wounds would be healed, and even the Earth would be blessed with abundance. God would no longer hide Himself from His people, but send a teacher to guide them.

The teacher Isaiah describes in his prophecy is, of course, Jesus, the Messiah. The gospel tells us that He travelled around the country, relieving suffering and curing all kinds of diseases. But He knew that what the people needed most was someone to lead and teach them. Like the people of Isaiah’s day, they were living in spiritual darkness and confusion. Lacking a sense of direction, Jesus compared them to a flock of sheep without a shepherd, and so He taught and preached everywhere He went, saying, “This is the way, follow Me”.

There was a limit to what Jesus could do during His life on Earth, and so He instructed His disciples to do as He had done: healing, casting our devils and, above all teaching. They were to hand on the good news they had learned from Him, that God loved the world and cared about the people in it.

As we look around at our own society, we sometimes wonder whether the world is becoming more wicked than ever. People are lost and confused, searching for spiritual help but not knowing where to find it. The flock is still in need of shepherds who will guide and teach.

So we pray as Jesus taught us, “Lord Jesus, send us good priests who will shepherd Your people.”