As we continue to journey through Easter, towards Pentecost, this Sunday, the invitation is to deepen our awareness of the protective and caring love surrounding us, holding us, and sustaining us. This love was made incarnate in Jesus the Good Shepherd.
The figure of the Shepherd acquires its truth and clarity in Christ. He is the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the flock. We find ourselves placed in the context to think of this image since we are still in Easter when we continually reflect on the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection. And from this event of his death and resurrection when he laid his life for us, we can draw many riches every day of our lives. For instance, parents can learn from Christ’s example of sacrificial love for their children, the rich can do the same for the poor and the needy, and we can all do the same for one another. In doing so, our lives and relationship with the Lord will continually be renewed. Furthermore, centering our lives on this reality will help us on our pilgrim journey.
Of course, for God sent us His saving Son, and Jesus as the Good Shepherd is used to draw the depth of love that God has for us. He, the rejected stone, is our strength and salvation, and the psalmist reminds us to place our trust in him our loving Lord. Without the shepherd, the sheep scatters. As we know, Jesus is the image of the Father and as our Good Shepherd, he gathers us continually through the Easter event of his death and rising, to the fold of his Father.
John in the second reading puts it rightly that, God’s love has made us his children. Truly, the pastoral work of God the Father is to make us always his children through His Son Jesus Christ in whose name we have been saved and continually gathered to His Father’s fold.
As we pray this week, let us ask for the grace to truly listen with open and accepting hearts to the needs of others. May we too become loving shepherds to one another and the environment.
Joy, and Peace.