|Penance for the sheep|
Monday, 23 July 2012
We started out as sheep but now we’re chickens
I have some experience with both sheep and chickens and can quite see why Our Lord chose to use sheep as a means of analogising us.
We need a shepherd to give us direction, we are easily scattered, we are preyed upon by wolves and we need a regular shearing and an antiseptic dip to rid us of our dirty fleeces and unwelcome parasites.
It is a great analogy and, if you read Jay Boyd’s latest post (which you must do if you are a Catholic living in
Wales or one
that has to travel far to Mass) you will also find that there is a
military aspect attached to sheep.
But, if Our Lord walked the earth today, would he employ the same analogy?
Today, His faithful are only loosely bound together as a flock (a collective noun applicable to both animals).
We wander in various directions and, despite being given some mighty powerful leadership, we just don’t seem capable of taking it in, of recognising a directive when it comes.
Sheep don’t do that, they follow the steer of the shepherd’s crook.
Chickens do precisely that. No matter how one tries to herd them they individually scatter and do their own thing.
Chickens also fail to recognise safety when it is their in front of their
Leave a safe and fox free shed open to them and they will roost on a low down branch, the equivalent of a foxy Walmart or Tescos.
Give them a warm, dark nest box wherein to lay their eggs and they will avoid it like the
plague pox and lay their eggs in full view of
marauding magpies and squirrels.
And, if you want to rid them of fleas and parasites, that’s when the feathers really fly. There’s nothing of the compliant ovine about a chicken.
And, finally, there’s the pecking order.
Oh dear, they are so like us it’s embarrassing.
There’s the charismatic chicken who like to strut and crow, the Knightsbridge version, so aloof and particular, the liberal breed ready to
peck pick on any of its neighbours and the odd one or two more
traditionally inclined who are kind to all, easy to manage and highly
productive in their output (aherm).
When it comes to having any sort of backbone, it’s the woollies that win every time.
Chickens aren’t called chicken for nothing you know.
Even when the
shepherd flockmaster arrives to feed them they
scatter as if the all the foxes of Christendom are about to gobble them up.
So much like us Catholics today who fail to see the hand that feeds us is the guiding hand and that we should be as one and follow without question.
We refuse to comply with the intelligent and choose only the crass and the ignorant paths; we refuse good shelter and food in favour of unseen dangers, we are preoccupied with self rather than authority.
And, we fail to see that if we do that we are no more than headless sheep, of no use to man nor beast nor…….God?