God’s lament about the shepherds of Israel makes me think about Pope Francis’ comment that you know a shepherd is really good if he/she smells like the sheep.

It is not only Francis, but Jesus who wants us to get right in there on the ground with our sheep. Whether you are a mother, father, boss, religious superior, trusted friend, older brother or sister; you play the role of shepherd for others. Tend their wounds, seek the lost, strengthen the weak. This is exactly what the Father did when he sent Jesus to become man. Jesus did not remain above our messy human state, but jumped in with both feet and came to smell completely of our humanity. We are called to do the same with the people God puts in our lives!

We are blessed to be part of a spiritual tradition which is totally incarnational. Ignatian spirituality is of and for the world. We find God here and now through the people, circumstances and events of our lives. The reason Ignatius considered the Examen to be the most important prayer in one’s life is because it examines the circumstances, events and people in our lives in order to find God in all things.

—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.