Good Shepherd Sunday: Shepherding 101
THE PETER PRINCIPLE
Have you heard of the Peter Principle? The Peter principle states that a person who is competent at their job will earn a promotion to a position that requires different skills. If the promoted person lacks the skills required for the new role, they will be incompetent at the new level, and will not be promoted again. Haha a strange principle, right? No, it is not named after St. Peter; St Peter was promoted to the papacy and had proven himself very very competent by offering his life to the Lord. Rather, the Peter principle is named after Laurence J. Peter, a Canadian educator.
Laurence J. Peter observed this, for example, usually, in technical industries, where skilled employees are naturally promoted to managerial roles. It happens despite the fact that the competence of such workers is based on their technical prowess rather than their ability to manage or lead. The end result is always devastating for the entire indutry. Not to mince words here, our point is, especially as we face national and local elections tomorrow, do not dare promote people into public office who are skilled at manipulation, trickery and deception. This will be a great loss for the nation, for each of us and our children. Please, you must promote good public servants who have proven track records of Good Shepherding. But, let’s leave the polls to God’s mighty hands for now. Laurence J. Peter, author of Peter’s Principle, incidentally also stated something like this:
“The seaman tells stories of winds, the ploughman of bulls; the soldier details his wounds, the shepherd his sheep.” I agree. So, for us to appreciate who the Good Shepherd is, let us hear what a good shepherd has to say about himself.
PART 1: THE AGAPE SHEPHERD
Who is a Shepherd?
♥ I guide my sheep in many ways. They always need a rest on their journey. But sometimes they will not. They won’t rest when they’re hungry. So I always provide for them. They won’t rest when they’re afraid.
So I protect them. And they won’t rest when they’re fighting or witnessing fighting among others at the flock.
♥ So I use my staff to direct them away from strife. When they know all is well they will lie down in the pastures I lead them to and take the deep rest they require to restore their strength. I am a good shepherd.
I always find them a least some sweet grass whatever season we are in.
♥ I’ve led them through tall grass using the rod to sweep a clear path and frighten away any enemies. I am armed against all the enemies of my flock: snakes, wolves, coyotes, even a mountain lion that roams looking for my sheep wanting to tear them limb from limb and devour them. My sheep know the side of this cudgel and they trust it.
♥ I also carry a staff. With it I climb ahead and make sure that crevices and caves on our path are clear of rocks and other potentially harmful things. I also use it to reach the sheep farthest from me.
♥ So I gather them close around me and we cross through the dark places together. I know each of my sheep even when they’re running from me. It may sound odd to one who’s not familiar with this life… but I love my sheep. I would search to the edge of the desert to find one lost. …I have always been an Agape Shepherd.
PART 2: THE SHEEP SENSE
After knowing who the shepherd is, let us get to know ourselves, the sheep and flock that we are. Here are some characteristics of sheep.
1º FLOCKING BEHAVIOR. Sheep are best known for their strong flocking, herding and following instinct. They will run from what frightens them and band together in large groups for protection. This is the only protection they have from predators aside from the protection of their shepherd. üBeing a member of Christ’s flock, do you have this strong bond with your Church?
2º BEHAVIOR OF FOLLOWING THE LEADER. When one sheep moves, the rest will follow, even if it is not a good idea. The flocking and following instinct of sheep is so strong that it caused the death of 400 sheep in 2006 in eastern Turkey. The sheep plunged to their death after one of the sheep tried to cross a 15-meter deep ravine, and the rest of the flock followed.
♥That is why, even despite the bonding instinct, we are enjoined to be more discerning in choosing the teachers we learn from, the teachings they offer and the Spirit-led life the lead. If you are a Catholic who is not well formed in and informed about your faith, have second thoughts about saying yes to invitations to attend in non-Catholic gatherings where there are teachings and indoctrinations.
3º SOCIAL BEHAVIOR. Sheep are a very social animal. In a grazing situation, they need to see other sheep. According to animal behaviorists, a sheep will become highly agitated if it is separated from the rest of the flock. üThis explains why you as a family should be affected when a member of your family starts attending a non-Catholic church. Because that means a major shift in your social behavior as a whole family unit.
♥ Sense of Sight. Sheep depend heavily upon their vision. Behavior scientists speculate that the placement and structure of the sheep’s eyes are due to nature’s designation of sheep as a prey animal. Sheep have a very large pupil that is somewhat rectangular in shape. With only slight head movement, sheep are able to scan their surroundings. Their field of vision ranges from 191 to 306 degrees, depending upon the amount of wool on their face. However, sheep have poor depth perception, doing poorly in three dimensional vision, especially if they are moving with their heads up. This is why they will often stop to examine something more closely. Sheep have difficulty picking out small details, such as an open space created by a partially opened gate. They tend to avoid shadows and sharp contrasts between light and dark. They are reluctant to go where they can’t see.
♥ Sense of Hearing. To compensate for this poor perception, Sheep have excellent hearing. They can amplify and pinpoint sound with their ears. In fact, sound arrives at each ear at a different time. Sheep are frightened by sudden loud noises, such as yelling or barking. In response to loud noises and other unnatural sounds, sheep become nervous and more difficult to handle. To minimize stress, the handler should speak in a quiet, calm voice. Sheep should not be worked in the presence of barking dogs.
PART 3: PECUS & PECCATUM
♥ Pecus means sheep and peccatum means sin. Both share two common characteristics.
1º Short-Sightedness. üAs we have seen, due to the sheep’s poor eyesight, the shepherd has to call the sheep with a gentle voice and often, when possible, by name. The sheep literally depends only on the shepherd’s voice for direction.
♥ Similarly, sin, is the effect of short-sightedness. It is the effect of enjoying gratification in the here and now and forgetting everything good we’ve already known and seen before.
2º The Cure: Listening. Their second common characteristic is that both the short-sightedness of the sheep and sin, can be cured by listening to a voice.
♥ Just as the shepherd’s voice is a cure for the sheep’s short-sightedness, so too, the short-sightedness of man leading him to sin may be prevented by his listening to the voice of the Good Shepherd. ©Yes, we all suffer from some form of spiritual short-sightedness from time to time. Some even suffer from spiritual blindness the rest of one’s life. But the good news is that this blindness, this short-sightedness, can be cured, can be helped, can be healed, by listening. No wonder, Jesus assures us, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”- Jn 10:27
PART 4: MAY 9, 2022 CHALLENGE:
♥ Take care of your vote. Do not sell it. It is sacred. Your vote is not only your right. Your vote is also your power; your power to change our society. No matter how poor you are, your vote has the same value with that of the richest and most powerful person in the country. And BY YOUR VOTE, YOU WILL TELL PEOPLE WHAT KIND OF PERSON YOUREALLY ARE. -Most Rev. Raul B. Dael, DD, Bishop of Tandag♥
♥ Para sa Mga Botanteng Kristyano ♥
Ang issue ng pag boto sa araw ng halalan 2022 ay hindi lang tungkol sa political issues at personal na opinion. Ito ay, higit sa lahat, isang moral na issue, na mas malalim, mas mataas at mas malawak kaysa sa political at personal na opinion mo. Kaya, totoo: YOUR VOTE REFLECTS YOUR MORAL STANDARDS.
Totoo, we respect every political and personal opinion. Pero pag dating sa moral na aspeto, ang Diyos lamang ang ating standard. Kung hindi naka ayon sa standard ng Diyos ang political at personal na opinion natin, sa Diyos ng Katotohan lang tayo mananagot; PERO buong bayan ang pagdurusahin ng ating maling boto. YOUR VOTE REFLECTS YOUR MORAL STANDARDS.
“Respect my opinion” kamo? Oo naman. PERO, respect God’s moral standards muna. Hindi ka naman diyos eh. We respect you naman, pero, sorry ha, super baba ang respeto ng mabubuting puso sa mga taong pumipili at bumuboto sa kasamaan, kasinungalingan, kamanhiran, kabastusan, at pangloloko. Ang maliit na respetong natitira sa puso ng mabubuti ay ipahahayag na lang sa pagdalangin para huwag kang (at ang mga mahal mo sa buhay) USIGIN at PESTEHIN ng masasamang espiritu habang buhay. YOUR VOTE REFLECTS YOUR MORAL STANDARDS.
At, hindi naman kagulat-gulat kung ang ating mga anak at ang susunod na henerasyon ay lalaki tulad ng mga iboboto natin na maging pastol ng bayan. Kaya bumoto ka naman para sa susunod na salinlahi. YOUR VOTE REFLECTS YOUR MORAL STANDARDS.♥