This Sunday is traditionally called “Good Shepherd Sunday”. The Risen Lord, in the Gospel of John, declares himself the Good Shepherd. What does this mean? A good shepherd is a loving shepherd. The more loving the shepherd, the “gooder” he or she is. A loving shepherd is one who spends him or herself for the sheep, tending them and feeding them. Indeed, “the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
Jesus is truly the good shepherd, for he feeds us with himself. St. Thomas Aquinas, in his Commentary on the Gospel of John, says “that Christ is a shepherd is clear enough, for as a flock is led and fed by the shepherd, so the faithful are nourished by Christ with spiritual food, and even with his own body and blood”.
The relationship between sheep and the Good Shepherd is, therefore, one of intimacy and safety. In today’s gospel (John 10: 22-30), Jesus says it all: “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.”
Let us rejoice in being sheep! Our Risen Lord knows where he is leading us: to verdant pastures, where he gives us repose for our souls. Let us follow in faith, hope and love.
From the desk of the Rector