All for one and one for all.
A priest once told the boys of a large country college Jesus’ parable of the Good Shepherd. Many of the boys came off sheep stations. They were to imagine a little sheep lost out in the scrub, and then were asked, what would your father do? From the back of the room came the answer. Let it die. Of course he would. Why would he risk himself and his horse and waste his time on a stupid sheep. That is the scenario that Jesus set up in his story: what shepherd among you would not leave 99 sheep on the mountain and go after the missing one? None. A sane farmer sacrifices the individual to the group.
But that is not how God works, how Jesus works, how many parents work. The Gospel teaches us that each of us is precious and no matter what challenges a person presents each of us is worth the trouble. For parents, especially those who have aging or ill parents, trying to met the needs of everyone in the family is a difficult juggling act. Feeling overwhelmed, tired, inadequate is such situations is normal. Being misunderstood is normal. But we cannot do it alone. We need support and care ourselves. The best care of an individual comes from a group of caring persons. As parents and as a school we need to look out for each other and even join or form community groups that support those in need
Loving God, you give us the image of the Good Shepherd searching the windswept mountain for the lost one. Send us your loving Sprit that we may follow Jesus in his care for each one. Give us wisdom that we may support each other in their caring roles. We ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear us.