1 min read
15 Apr

This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Easter. We’re going to look at the three phrases of the prayer and how they fit together.

Almighty ever-living God, lead us to a share in the joys of heaven, so that the humble flock may reach where the brave Shepherd has gone before. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

The first phrase to consider is a share in the joys of heaven. What it means to share gets lost in the translation from Latin. We might often think of sharing as one bag of M&M’s and two or more kids. One for me, one for you, and make sure the colors are divided as best we can. If there is an odd amount in the bag, mom gets that one M&M because if you tried to divide it, it wouldn’t be even.

However, in the Latin form of the prayer, for the word share, we find the word societatem, which means fellowship, society or community. In the fellowship, or community, of the joys of heaven, we don’t have to share, we are in the joys of heaven, and we are even a part of it. This is what we were made to be.

The next two phrases translate a bit differently from Latin. In the Latin form of the prayer, we find “the humility of the flock” and “the fortitude of the Shepherd.”

The humility of the flock does not mean we think less of ourselves. It means we think of ourselves less. Moses didn’t lead the people out of Egypt for the fun of it. He did it because God was looking for someone to work through; he did it for the good of the people. David isn’t remembered as a great king for his selfishness, and Mary gave up her plans for her life for the salvation of many when she said “yes” to God’s plan to bring the Savior into the world.

The humility of the flock brings them to a place of lowliness but that is not all the Shepherd has for us. With his fortitude, his strength and bravery, the good Shepherd raises us up. The Son of God allowed himself to go to the lowest places only to be raised to the highest places, and that is where He wants to take us. Psalm 147:7 tells us that “He raises the humble” (GNT). Mary tells us in her Magnificat that “He lifts up the lowly.” (Luke 1:52 NABRE).

As I mentioned earlier, we were not meant to be content in and with the world. We were created for more. We are meant to live in the assembly of heaven here and now. However, for the humble flock to be raised up to, to receive everything that Jesus, the brave Shepherd has paid for, is something we cannot achieve on our own. We cannot be raised up unless we allow God to lead us.

While it might be easy to look at the whole Church and say, “that means you,” take a look at the person in the mirror and say, “that means you.” When His desires become our desires, when we are willing to put aside how we want to run our lives, when we truly understand how to live in humility, thinking of others more, then we are ready to be led to where our courageous Shepherd takes us. This is truly where we were meant to be.

Thanks for praying with me,

* The email will not be published on the website.