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Tend to the Flock in Your Midst

“Tend to the flock of God in your midst.”  (1 Peter 5:2) Who is in your midst today?  What are their needs?  How can you tend to them?  I can imagine all of you sleep-deprived mamas reading this while the baby cries, the toddler makes a mess, and the oldest is singing away. Some of you have your own little flock who need you all the time.

But me, well, I live alone. I am single and the silence around me can be very silent. Sometimes I wish for my own little flock. I make acts of trust, believing that He is at my side and will provide for every desire in my heart. I want to believe that “only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life,” (Psalm 23:6) but sometimes there is this very subtle tinge of sadness that creeps in with the enemy’s lies. You are forgotten. You are not enough. Your life is empty. You will always feel this way.

One of the biggest challenges of not being in vows (such as in marriage or the religious life) is that life is in a state of potentiality. Those of us who are single can feel like a little acorn who wishes to be a great oak tree. We want to be chosen, planted, and nurtured so that we can grow and provide for others, but sometimes we feel unnoticed, uprooted, and frozen. This time of waiting can be hard. Really hard.

This is when it is crucial to remember the truth that every Christian is living in vows. Jesus calls each one of us to live a life of holiness in our baptismal vows. When we live out of the graces of our baptismal vows, we become one with Jesus, the Good Shepherd. United with Him, Jesus will show us our flock and teach us to look after them with His tender love. It may look differently than you expected, but this flock is His particular gift to you. There are souls that need your loving care today. Let your heart be attentive to them.

Be intentional with tending your relationship with Jesus today.

Rose Coleman is a contemplative in action who delights in all things beautiful. Her adventurous heart has traveled many places—from circumnavigating the globe on a ship during college to some years in the convent as a religious sister. Exuberant from her childhood, she is an elementary school teacher who learns so much from her students. You can find out more about her here.

9 Comments

  • Reply
    Erin
    February 22, 2018 at 6:16 am

    So very well said regarding the struggle for those who are single. Thank you for the reminder of our baptismal vows and Jesus’ call for each one of us to tend to His flock.

    • Reply
      Jean-Paul Marie Justin
      February 22, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      Some years ago, I began celebrating the anniversaries of my “burning bush” experiences, when God called me to remove my shoes and stand on holy ground to receive each of the Sacraments. Very humbling to pray, “in praise and thanksgiving for the 71st anniversary of my Baptism”. There was the excitement of finding the exact dates. Even sending flowers on the special day to the parish in which I received the Sacrament. Or asking that a Mass be celebrated on that day. Or taking a quiet desert day, to be still and alone with the Lord. It reminds me of the faithfulness of God and His Presence in every moment. Each anniversary becomes a joyous celebration full of treasures and keepsakes.
      https://www.etsy.com/listing/221747191/seven-sacraments-rosary-with-your-choice?ref=shop_home_active_3

      And… if you are a Godmother, you can introduce such a tradition to gather to celebrate their faith journey too!

  • Reply
    Ann
    February 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    I think perhaps as a fellow teacher, can our little flock be our students?

  • Reply
    Mary
    February 22, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Thank you for this reminder today. It was a God wink for me. The Holy Spirit is working. I am newly single and a recent empty nester. I will continue you to pray for guidance in my greater purpose.

  • Reply
    Jen
    February 22, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    ❤️ well said.

  • Reply
    Gina
    February 23, 2018 at 1:24 am

    Beautiful, Rose. Thank you for this reflection.

  • Reply
    Molly
    February 23, 2018 at 11:44 am

    So so beautiful….just like you!

  • Reply
    Cathy H Harrell
    February 23, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    And when our flock takes flight into the world, we are then called to look to the flock in front of us. Our parish, our work family, our neighborhood, and tend to them.

  • Reply
    a_garza1022
    February 27, 2018 at 8:57 am

    I am recently single after a 5 year relationship and I can say that I am heartbroken and feel that silence everyday. Thank you for sharing. I didn’t realize that my flock was at Church. When everything happened that was the first place I turned and everyone has been there for me this month and they have been praying and taking care of me in a way I never expected. I’m grateful to have a flock and I will do my best to lead them in anyway I can.

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