‘I know them, and they follow me.
On this ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’, Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd, who brings life, love, and protection to those within his flock.
In the first reading, we follow Paul and Barnabas to Antioch. Although the Jewish leaders reject their message, they are undeterred. They turned their preaching to those termed pagans. To the disciples’ joy, these people readily hear and receive the message of eternal life offered by the Lord Jesus himself, fulfilling his command.
The Psalm celebrates the joy, gladness, and mercy that this eternal life promises to those who delight in being the Lord’s people, the sheep of his flock. At the same time, the second reading recounts John’s vision of heaven. Amid countless souls robed in the whitest of garments, Jesus is the Lamb standing at the throne of God. We hear of the gifts of protection from hunger, thirst, and sorrow which come to those who stand before God’s throne.
In the Gospel, Jesus, the shepherd himself, reminds us of the blessings of care and protection his sheep are promised, both now and in eternal life, with Jesus and the Father.
This week, comforted by the words of our Good Shepherd, let us pray especially for those who, for whatever reason, may feel lost and without the protection of the shepherd they once knew. Also, we remember those who are searching for a flock in which to make their home.
Joy and Peace.