Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Sheep with the Shepherd

We often think that sheep without a shepherd is a very pitiable situation.  Something that really needs correction. Truly so.  However, I would like to throw light on the other side of the story: sheep with the shepherd.  Somehow we have a mental construct that once the shepherd is there, everything is fine. That all the sheep follow the shepherd. That all of them follow him in singular file!

Unfortunately they don't!  They wander about, of course not too far. But they do wander.  Some stick close to the shepherd, not all.  Some take a longer detour, some shorter. But they are all there, with the shepherd.  In such a case would it be right for those sheep following the shepherd closely that those 'wandering' about a little or more, are not following the shepherd???  Is it right for those 'wandering' to think that those walking in the shepherd's footsteps as 'slaves'???
It struck me that in the Salesian history, when in Don Bosco's times, the young Rua, Cagliero and team would be going out of the oratory for classes (theology?). Rua was the appointed leader who would never take a detour.  Cagliero, on the other hand, would run ahead, watch the street jugglers, wall posters and all that, but be in time, join the group, right in time.  I also remember reading that Rua complained about this to Don Bosco.  I only forget what was Don Bosco's reply.

Getting back to the sheep-shepherd, I think the right question for both the groups (those walking 'close' and those 'wandering') to ask is 'What does the shepherd say?'


  1. I think the shepherd would simply ask the sheep, where do you want to go and why? Be careful around the blind corner. Call me if you need me. Ciao.

    Because the good shepherd knows where his sheep are anyway.

  2. Basically, you can't wander far enough away from the shepherd for him to lose you permanently. The design does not allow it.


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