A friend of mine shared this via email last week. The theme here is pretty universal:
I was in PA this past weekend and heard Fr. John Trigilio give a great homily. He told a story about he and his mom visiting Ireland. They were stopped on a road on their way to a pub for dinner because a shepherd was crossing his flock of sheep. Fr. noticed that the shepherd was squeezing his sheep, one by one, through this small hole in the fence. Fr. noticed that just about 1/2 mile up the road was a big gapping open area where the shepherd could have allowed his sheep to go through in one big bunch. After the shepherd was gone and Fr. John and his mom arrived at the pub, Fr. John noticed that the shepherd was there. He decided to ask him why he choose to squeeze his sheep one by one through that small opening versus allowing them to go through the big open area as a group. The shepherd’s answer was this: “Using that small opening allows the chance to count my sheep. See, I’ve named them all and this is the one opportunity that I get to say hello and count them one at a time, making sure each and every one of them is safe.”
If only every parent, teacher, and Principal (yours truly included) took the time, energy, and opportunity to treat each child with that much care.