August 2, 2018 Author:

We smell the sheep…

“Never stop doing little things for others. Sometimes these little things occupy the bigger part of their heart.”

It all began on 27th July as we listened to the talk of Fr.Xavier Kudiamsherry on the topic “Democracy in India: Its Challenges”. It was a half day symposium where we tried to understand the present scenario of the nation..

It has become a usual custom to blame the government and respected authorities for all the happenings around; hence at times we forget that as citizens of India, we have the duties too along with our rights. We, the so called specially chosen people , who willingly offered our lives for a better cause, for God and for His people, at times close our eyes towards the happenings around-justifying ourselves that we were ignorant, we are not responsible, we are busy with many other things, or we are  not aware of it.

The talk by Fr. Kudiyamserry was an eye opener for each one of us to look at the realities of life, to read out the signs of the time and to be a prophet to act according to it. There was a fire burning within for the people who suffer in Kuttanad, and under the inspiring initiative and leadership of Fr. Thomas Marottiparambil, Fr.Wilson, Fr.Rajeev, and Fr Albin  the Jyothir Bhavan family decided to plunge in to the unknown placing our confidence in the Providence of the Lord.

Then we started our ‘Missionary work’ for a better cause – the collecting and purchasing of things – and we experienced the overflowing providence of the Lord. Everything was well arranged by Fr. Thomas and Team. With a prayer and blessing of Fr.Justine along with the whole JB community, we set out for our mission on 1st August with a missionary zeal daring to do anything and everything that the people are in need of.  The government and other Organizations provide many things for the people there, but they fail to reach out to the interior villages due to various reasons. We were nearly 80 in number, hired 7 boats and set out to reach the interior places of Kainakary. The place reminded of the ‘flood in time of Noah’. People have lost their houses, belongings, home furniture, clothes, their crops were under water, and their future unknown… no one could differentiate between river, field and road.

They were like “sheep without shepherd”. Recalling the words of Jesus and harkening our ear to the invitation of Pope Francis, we left our “comfort Zones” and got in touch with the people who live in the fringes of the society.  They were living in camps, cooking together, eating together, and sharing their belongings together…. “The flock under the same roof”.

Our visit was of inspiration to them and one of them said that “now we understand there are people who care for us”. Most of them believe that it is a test by God to increase their trust in Him. We visited the families, promised our prayers, and shared whatever we had collected to nearly 44 camps. It was an inspiration for us too, where we could understand the caring and loving presence of the Lord in our lives journey…

In Kainakary we were with the people, sharing their feelings, calming their fears, giving them hope, assuring our help, and we were really surprised when they provided tea for us from their nothingness… In this world of selfishness and self-centeredness, problems like this also paves way for the people to be, caring, sharing, understanding and to be strong in their bond of love. This problem has united them as one people.

In today’s ‘busy scheduled’ way of life, there are still people who live in fraternal love. Humanity has not lost the “compassion” from their hearts..Just they have forgotten to express it. Incidents like this will awaken us from our slumber and help us to act positively to give radical witness to what we believe and profess.

Till evening, we spend our time with them and while returning we were proud that we had “the smell of the sheep”. It was a radical change…. The neatly washed, ironed and perfumed dresses were crushed, wet and full of mud and we were so glad that we could partake a little in their suffering. We too could undergo the same pain of being in the water for the whole day. We were realizing that “every risk is worth taking as long as it is for a good cause and contribute to a good life”.

As we sit back and reflect we hear Him saying… I was hungry; you gave me to eat… I was thirsty; you gave me to drink… I was naked, you clothed me… and I was a stranger and you visited me…. Yes now we see a ray of hope behind the cloud. Though ‘clay pots’ we have lot to accomplish… JB family is glad today, and now we whisper to ourselves that.. “We are unworthy servants; we have done only our duty”. In the coming days too we have the desire to  be “the shepherds who smell the sheep…..”


Sr Shine Brijit, CSST