The Good Shepherd Mosaic 1859-1900 (made), 5th century (made) Victoria and Albert Museum
Isaiah 25: 6-9
Matthew 15: 29-39
It’s hard to pray the Lord is my Shepherd on the anniversary of the 1989 Montreal Massacre when 14 women were gunned down and 10 wounded, all senselessly in an anti-feminist shooting at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, the news flashed across the media, stilling the frivolous gaiety of our St. Nicholas party.
The Shepherd feels diminished beside the vast array of humanity’s commotion of negation, yet it is this Shepherd who scoops up my heart and my soul, transfiguring
Hope, not as a sentimentalized wish, but a Hope that is as tangible as the earth itself, with its root of promise grounded in the ancient prophet Isaiah’s words “death itself will be swallowed up.”
Waiting Hope, which is God’s own Self – born in humility, to die in disgrace takes into God, who is all Goodness, all that which is senseless negation; nothing being lost to God and God’s good purpose.
This is the God for whom we wait in Advent. “Oh wait, He has already come, for God is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
The Shepherd is my pastoral comfort, the Shepherd who destroys the shroud that distorts the Truth of eternal life, now and forever, rings out, grabbing centre stage from the commotion of God our Shepherd who has the last word, for God is the Word and that Word is incarnated as love and life, which is always stronger than death and all death’s children; the Shepherd never diminished. Amen.