Echoes of the Good Shepherd

Br. Michael


Who doesn’t feel better, knowing there’s someone there who cares for them?

-Siegfried Farnon, All Creatures Great and Small


All Creatures Great and Small is based on the true story of a young vet in England in the 1930s. I discovered the current television remake of this show on PBS (thank you PBS) a year ago and have enjoyed both seasons (with my Mom) so far. The simple and yet touching stories of community, relationships, creation, and of the characters moving beyond fears, expectations, and judgments have been like comfort food.


The quote from Siegfried, the patriarch of the family, seems to echo the words of Jesus, the Good Shepherd in the gospel of John (10.27-30). There is great comfort in hearing a familiar voice, in being known and knowing we do not walk alone. Who doesn’t like to be cared for and known? This is the gift Christ offers us time and again. Over the course of the two seasons of All Creatures Great and Small, each of the characters has come to discover the gift of being cared for, being reassured by a loving voice, and also being challenged to grow and trust in the unity that makes them a family and community. It echoes the Good Shepherd present with us in our living and being, assuring us and caring for us.


Siegfried’s quote also reminds me of the encounter I have had in being a child. I have been privileged to have a Mom (and Grandmas) who have exuded care my whole life. They have been echoes of the Good Shepherd by lending their voice to life-giving words, encouragement to live in life-giving ways, and have shown me how to live in the Way, the Truth, and the Life which is promised to us. It is because of this that I have been able to live out my vocation and hopefully encourage others to live out theirs. As we honor mothers and those who are like mothers to us, I am very much aware of the gift of being cared for and the great sacrifice that takes, it is indeed an echo of Christ the Good Shepherd.

Photo Credit: Rod Long