We Need Christ as Our Shepherd

Today’s Gospel reading tells the story of Jesus preaching to the masses and multiplying the loaves and fish. It begins: “When Jesus saw the vast crowd, His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.” 

How often do we feel like sheep without a shepherd? It’s easy to feel that way when things go wrong in life or when we choose to do our will rather than God’s will. We lose direction and feel like we’re floundering. But we know that God is our shepherd; He is always there for us. We simply need to seek Him.

God is our spiritual Father; He leads us. So we must follow His example and lead our children or the children in our lives. We must act in the spirit of God here on earth and teach our children what He would have taught—just as He did the day He multiplied the loaves and fish.

But talking to kids today can often be extremely difficult. If they’re not playing video games, they’ve got their nose stuck in a phone watching Tik Tok or sending Snapchats. They’re just like the sheep without a shepherd—unless we become a shepherd in Christ’s footsteps.

How do we do that? It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary.

Engaging them is key. Start by having a phone-free dinner or a phone-free game night. Sit together and talk about their day. Ask what’s going on in school. Ask their opinion about current events, about sports, or about anything you think they’ll discuss. Tell them about your day, even if you’ve had problems or difficulties. Allowing them to watch you work through problems is integral and can help them develop techniques to work through their own problems. 

Use Christ as your inspiration. Never forget that He is there for you, and make sure that your kids know that you—and God—are always there for them. Become the shepherd of your family. If you don’t, then social media or their peers will. 

Psalm 23 teaches: “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.”

Let us ponder this Psalm and hold its words in our hearts, as we remember God’s infinite love and mercy, and as we extend that love and mercy to our own children.

Contact the author

Susan Ciancio has a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, with an MA in liberal studies from Indiana University. For the past 17 years, she has worked as a professional editor and writer, editing both fiction and nonfiction books, magazine articles, blogs, educational lessons, professional materials and website content. Eleven of those years have been in the pro-life sector. Currently Susan freelances and writes weekly for HLI, edits for American Life League, and is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine. She also serves as executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program-an educational nonprofit program for K-12 students.

Feature Image Credit: José A. Soto De La O, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/26306-jesus-buen-pastor