The Gift of Pastoring (Shepherding)
30th Sunday of Ordinary Time
The spiritual gift of pastoring (shepherding) is evident in today’s readings. In the reading of Jeremiah (31:7-9) we hear, “The Lord has delivered his people. The Lord says, “I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world…they shall return as an immense throng.” He says he “will console and guide them, lead them on a level road so that none shall stumble.”
What a beautiful description of the spiritual gift of pastoring (shepherding). In the Uniquely His book written by Sheila Mellick, she defines this spiritual gift as “the special grace to commit oneself to the nurturing, formation and growth of a group of Christians for an extended period of time.
In the letter to the Hebrews (5:1-6) St. Paul describes the spiritual gift of pastor (shepherd) as “one made representative before God to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. No one takes the offer upon himself, but only when called by God” citing Aaron as an example. A person with the spiritual gift of pastor/shepherd understands this unique call.
Finally one with the spiritual gift of pastor (shepherd) follows in the way of Jesus, gathering people around them, helping them to find faith and God’s presence in their everyday lives. A person with this spiritual gift helps others discover a deepening of their faith.