“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
“I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”
Several years ago I preached at a First Communion liturgy at Gesu Parish in Milwaukee, WI. On this particular Sunday, instead of preaching from the ambo, I walked up and down the main aisle of the church going on and on about the good deeds of the Good Shepherd. Unbeknownst to me, a two-year old had wandered out from one of the pews.
At some point he must have became aware he was lost and the next thing I knew, this little one began tugging at my vestments. I reached down and pulled him up into my arms. At that point I stopped preaching. Why go on? What had just happened became a real life example of the Good Shepherd that looks out after each one of us.
Where have I allowed the Good Shepherd to find me?
—Fr. Michael Bayard, S.J. serves as Provincial Assistant for parishes and spiritual ministries of the Oregon and California Jesuit provinces.
Lord, I will trust in your protection. I will go through this day confident that you will not fail me for I am your beloved.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!