Monday, May 12, 2014
“The ship that will not obey the helm will have to obey the rocks.”
”Naturally we all have an inclination to command, and a great aversion to obey; and yet it is certain that it is more for our good to obey than to command; hence perfect souls have always had a great affection for obedience, and have found all their joy and comfort in it.” -- Saint Francis of Sales, Doctor of the Church
Gospel Text: (JN 10:11-18)
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why 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 on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”
Unfortunately, shepherds and sheep are not very common or relevant in our high tech, computerized world. And we do not like to think of ourselves as dumb, submissive animals. We are sophisticated human beings. We have an intellect and a free will, we go where we will and do what we want. And we don’t like “sheep dogs” yapping and snapping at our feet. But perhaps we are more like sheep than we care to admit. Just like sheep we seem to be oblivious of everything except the plot of grass that surrounds us here and now. We spend all of our time feathering this little nest here as if it will go on forever. Just like sheep we are not conscious of the ravenous wolves that surround us in the counter-culture in which we live. To say nothing of the wolves that come to us in sheep’s clothing. And just like sheep we always think that the grass is greener on the other side, so we stray from the flock. Whether we appreciate it or not, the image of the Good Shepherd and his sheep is enshrined forever in the Bible and in Christianity. And in reality and truth it fits every generation, even our own.
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me.” (John 10: 27) We should have a quiet time each day. Turn off the radio, TV, internet, cell phone, put everything on the back burner and learn to recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd. What a great blessing it is to be able to recognize the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and to follow him with great joy and confidence wherever he may lead us.
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 5:59 AM