by Sister Laura Zelten
In today’s Gospel from John, Jesus tells us: “I am the good shepherd: a good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep ... I know my own and my own know me ... they listen to my voice ...” Through this reading we learn about the qualities of a good shepherd and of a good flock.
The good shepherd takes care of his flock. He is patient with them; he loves them and never harms them; he is available to them at all times; and is ready to make sacrifices for them. A good flock listens to its shepherd; obeys his instructions; and follows him with confidence. In other words, there must be trust between a shepherd and the flock.
As we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday, we are reminded that each of us is a shepherd in one way or another. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, models for us the qualities needed to lead:
Along with Good Shepherd Sunday our Universal Church marks World Day of Prayer for Vocations. We pray that men and women hear and respond generously to the Lord's call to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life, societies of apostolic life or secular institutes. May they be open to leading as Jesus the Good Shepherd leads.
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"I know my own.." I am known and loved by God ...
"... my own know me ..." I know and love God in return ...
"... listen to my voice ...” JESUS' Voice is the voice-of-my-heart; it is the voice that speaks truth, loves tenderly yet 'tough-ly' as in strong, empowering, inspiring, courageously bold, insight-fully wise. JESUS is both whisper and roar; sometimes he roars with laughter. JESUS is both the sorrow - and the Joy - of my heart. -- Linda