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The Sunday Mass readings about the Good Shepherd brought to mind of some of his assistant shepherds.

There is a young couple who have a flock of five lambs, from about 8 years old to 1 or so. Yet, every week they get the children dressed up so they all attend Mass. The heads of a few of the youngest are barely visible over the backs of the pew in front of them, but they are quiet as church mice.

It also reminded me of when my two brothers and I were kids and we were later joined by our sister. Mother was in charge of making sure Phil, Dave and I were “sheep-shape” before she and Dad shepherded us up the hill to church every Sunday morning. To this day, I don’t know how she did it.

Getting my brothers and me in church clothes must have been as difficult as a shepherd trying to shear hyperactive sheep, but she did it week in and week out. Dad would lead his flock uphill to the church and to our usual pew where he faced another uphill battle to maintain order. My brothers and I were not as well-behaved as the kids mentioned first.

So why did our parents make sure we got to church and why do the young couple do the same for their children? It would be a lot easier for all concerned just to sleep in.

I don’t know the definitive answer, but I suppose both sets of parents themselves had been shepherded to church by their parents. That’s where they got to know and to love the Good Shepherd. That’s where they learned how much the Good Shepherd loved them.

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Heaven is the ultimate green pasture.

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