"Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated." (Isaiah 40:1-2)
During this season of Advent where we prepare for the coming of Jesus into human history, this story provides a great glimpse of what it means to have God incarnated in our human flesh.
To care for the sheep, the shepherd himself becomes a sheep. He abandons his position of power to walk with his flock. A good shepherd, as Pope Francis reminds us, is so close to his sheep that he takes on the odor of his flock.
God himself is the perfect shepherd. In the fullness of time, God who is the creator of the universe becomes a small child. God becomes small so he can walk with us through the journey of life. God becomes our brother in Jesus Christ so he can experience our joys, our hopes and our pains. In the person of Jesus, God teaches us that the fullness of our humanity isn't power or wealth, but rather humility and love.
As we journey through this Advent, God invites us as well to become smaller so that we can love more fully. How can you today become smaller? How can you ensure that the love of Jesus Christ can grow in you?