Easter 4 - Year C
The function of a shepherd is important. Here is protection of wandering assets. Here is development of a herd and its health. Here is support for religious ceremonies and culinary delights.
Shepherds can also be metaphors and similes for care giving. Even to the point of great responsibility for souls.
Generally, however, the status of a shepherd is as if they were of no importance. They are overlooked, discounted, and dismissed. This is nearly an invisible vocation. In a city-based environment, it is not usually a vocation but a job of last resort, a step above begging.
It is a great comfort to be comforted. This is a psalm of comfort that could begin with a parent, a friend, a lover, piece of chocolate, scads of money or any number of other sources people have identified as a comfort to them.
As in so many other cases, this could be read in the plural as well as the singular.
We are to care for one another, none need be in want.
Resources are abundant and we willingly point one another to them.
In the midst of the direst of circumstances, we are encouraged and encourage.
All in all, we trust one another and find healthy ways to journey.
Even in the presence of bombs, we resist fear.
After all, you are with me and I am with you— what comfort!
And so we feast and invite everyone, including family black sheep.
We bless one another, deserved or not, for we have been blessed, deserved or not.
We abound in relationships which are a source of abundance.
This is tried and true, not fleeting.
We welcome justice wrapped in mercy and dive into its depth.
Together we build houses and transform them into homes.
This village sustains.
This focus on Neighb*r reveals G*D’s presence even as G*D teaches hospitality of Neighb*r.