November 17

Ezekiel 34:20-34

“Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged…” vss. 21-22a

The scattering of people does not happen by chance. Ezekiel used the sheep metaphor to describe exactly what takes place. The fat and the strong sheep bully the weaker members of the flock and chase them away from their sources of food and drink. In order to survive those lost sheep need a loving shepherd, one sent by the Lord. Ezekiel’s imagery is powerful and aptly describes the bullying actions of the fat and strong in every age. Our world’s problem is not a lack of resources–there’s plenty for everyone. But the fat and the strong continually control the distribution. People aren’t starving in palaces! But in refugee camps it’s a different picture–disease is rampant and basic necessities are at a minimum. Families don’t live in such places by choice, but this is where they’ve been forced to go as they’ve fled for their lives. The fat and the strong have had their way with them. And where is the Shepherd in all of this? Not in some heaven far, far away! Rather the Shepherd, otherwise known as the Christ, is present and active, and working for justice. People of faith are doing shepherding work in every land, reaching out to the weak, and one day, by the will of God, the reign of the bullies will come to an end.

Thought for the Day: Where do I see the Shepherd at work?

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