Today’s Gospel: John 10:11-18
Last year, I had occasion to pay a lot of attention to sheep. I was doing research for a project on the life of St. Patrick, himself a spiritual shepherd. My research even took me to the hills of Ireland, where I closely watched fields full of sheep of various ages and sizes.
This project changed my opinion of both sheep and shepherds. Far from being the cute, cuddly creatures I had pictured in the past, the sheep I got to know were strong, smelly, and had minds of their own.
Sort of like us, right?
In today’s gospel passage from John, Jesus calls himself the “good shepherd.” Trustworthy, knowledgeable about the characteristics of his various followers, and willing to risk himself for each of them, Jesus came to be shepherd to all types of sheep. Some of us are compliant and docile. Others of us are headstrong and would prefer to choose our own path, despite the clear signs of danger.
Still, Jesus is our shepherd, and we are his sheep. He came to give his life for us, to shepherd us into the safety and bliss of an eternity spent in God’s presence. We are each precious enough to him for him to love us and shepherd us uniquely, just exactly as we are.
How blessed I feel to be one of the flock.
How closely do you try to follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd? How have you endeavored to bring others into Jesus’ flock?
Jesus, my Good Shepherd, you love me so much that you laid down your life for me. Please know my love for you and help me to follow you with trust and certainty.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Lisa Hendey