As this is being written, I am so very conscious of the violence, pain, suffering, abuse, that is being endured by millions of our fellow human beings. Would it be better if I had written, "by our brothers and sisters?" After all we are all children of the same Father, are we not? We do not pray, my father, we pray rather Our Father. We have to keep before us, even when it causes discomfort to bubble up, we are all brothers and sisters. There are no exceptions. We cannot choose who belongs to the Family of our Creator God, and who does not. From the streets of Chicago, and New York, to the cauldron at the borders of Arizona, to the harsh and heartless deserts of Iraq, Iran, and Syria, Palestine, there is a great bloody reenactment of Calvary, and the Crucifixion. These above mentioned are just a few of the places where The Crucifixion is reenacted in the same bloody manner. This Crucifixion is revealed to us, through the events of each and every moment of every day. So many are entering their own personal version of hell on earth, a hell so awe-full for us to contemplate.
So as a defense, we shut tight our eyes to the horrific images that appear in the many sources of communication. We can, and do offer deaf ears to the pain-full screams of those who are the contemporary Suffering Christ. Yes we can, and do have hardened hearts, and closed or blinded eyes, and minds. The awe-full result is that those suffering will continue to endure their pain in loneliness and isolation. How can we ever leave our place of so called comfort and security to embrace the pain and suffering of our sisters and brothers? Where am I going to get in touch with that which will empower, enable us, to "to be Him, Whom we have been called to be," and reach out in meaning-full, transforming service. How can we expand our narrow view of what it means to be a "Contemporary Christian?" A Christian who will go beyond the confining limits of religiosity, and instead be a living example of the universal love of our Gracious Creator God? In other words, when are we going to stop being sheep, and instead become shepherds? Shepherds that will continue the universal outreach of The Good Shepherd. A sheep does not become a shepherd without radical transformation. Radical transformation is not something the ego will choose. There is too much to let go of. Becoming the living presence of The Good Shepherd demands that we let go of everything, and enter the place of abject poverty and powerlessness. This was modeled for us on Calvary, and we are called to enter into the same reality. This does not happen in a vacuum. Grace is operative in each step we take. The Crucified Shepherd now journeys with us, and in us, and continues to live through us. The same Spirit that was with The Historical Jesus on His transformation to be The Risen and living Christ is the same Spirit that brings about our transformation.