Tending To Our Flock – Your Catholic Weekly Reflection from CMMB
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus appears to the disciples for a third time after His Resurrection. The disciples had spent a night fishing without any luck. Then they heard Jesus calling them from the shore and, although they did not recognize Him at first, they followed His instructions, which brought in a large haul of fish. Back at the shore Jesus had prepared a meal of fish and bread, and invited them to share in it. Jesus then turned to Simon Peter and sent him on a mission to “Feed my lambs…Tend my sheep…Feed my sheep.”
Similarly in South Sudan, Catherine Onkware is tending to her flock. She is the manager of our child protection program in Yambio and a crucial figure in CMMB’s efforts to support children associated with armed conflict.
“My faith and dependency on God has been my greatest guide in this service. The work is more often than not difficult to say the least. I often find myself in moments of great sadness because of the experiences these children go through. Sometimes, it is just really hard to handle. When I am down and feel like I need someone to lean on, God remains my central pillar. Without faith and hope, it is impossible to serve.”
—Catherine Onkware, CMMB child protection manager
Just last month, over 200 children that had been abducted by militia were released in Yambio. They returned scared, weak, and hungry. To effectively reintegrate into society, they need love, protection, and support. Through our food distribution program, Catherine’s team provided food rations for 3 months for these children. These boys and girls will now be able to share meals again with their loved ones, a beautiful experience that will help them reconnect emotionally and spiritually with their families.
Dinner is a special time to share meals, tell stories, laugh and cry together, and experience God’s grace. But because of our busy lives and many distractions, that has been lost. Today’s Gospel reminds of how sacred these times are. Let us remember to not rush through our times together so we may connect with those closest to us, be grateful for our many blessings, and in that way nourish not only our bodies but also our souls.
In grace and peace,
CMMB/Healthier Lives Worldwide