The Good Shepard knows his Sheep
Readings: 1st: Acts 11:1-18; Ps: 22; Gos: Jn 10: 11-18
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Yesterday, the fourth Sunday of Easter, the church celebrated the feast of Christ, the good shepherd. Today, the gospel according to John continues with same theme.
Today, there are two points which Jesus insists on. The first is the defense of the life of the sheep. The Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep. That is, he does everything possible to protect his sheep.
The second is, on the mutual knowledge, and good relationship between the shepherd and the sheep. That is, a good shepherd knows his sheep, and his sheep knows him, and recognizes his voice.
Jesus insisted that, the people have a particular perception, and know who the Good Shepherd is. The pharisees did not accept this, because, they despised the people, and said they were ignorant.
Also, they thought that, they alone had the right to discern the things of God, but in reality, they were blind. So, the discourse on the Good Shepherd teaches two rules to cure this type of blindness.
The first is, to pay attention to the reaction of the sheep towards the shepherd. The second is to be attentive to the attitude of the shepherd towards the sheep. Is he interested in the life of the sheep? Is he capable of giving his life for the sheep?
So, Jesus presents himself as the good shepherd who knows his sheep, cares for them and lays down his life for them. He contrasts himself to the Pharisees, who instead of taking care of their people, made life very difficult for them.
Jesus is not a payed worker. So, our relationship him is not based on commerce or on choice. Therefore, he works and does everything for our own good.
So, let ask God for the humility to follow his instructions for our own good and safety. Also, that we may trust and follow him in faith. Alleluia, alleluia!
Peace be with you all!