Sunday, May 3, 2009


In Today's Gospel John 10 1-15

The Good Shepherd

Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.

But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers."

Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them. So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came [before me] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.

A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.

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.

"In the Church Bulletin there was a comment by the pastor and it says:
St John narrates the storyof Jesus the Good Shepherd as part of the sixth sign in his gospel book of signs. Here, Jesus is the light of the world and St John explains this in the story of the man born blind. In this story, the religious leaders are blind but they do not know that they are blind. They are contrasted with Jesus who is the light that has come into the world. Then St. John tells the story of Jesus the sheep gate and Jesus the Good Shepherd. These stories are told to illustrate that Jesus is the one who loves humanity and cares for them as a good shepherd takes care of his sheep.

The story is told so that those who experience the neglect of their out-of-touch religious leaders and institutions know that Jesus is the one who is enlightened. Jesus understands their dilemmans and like a good shepherd takes cae of his flock, Jesus will take care of them. There is no need to think that God depends on incompetent and corrupt religious leaders. God accomplishes his purpose of nurturing his people and leading them to their destiny. Jesus is the one who knows the way."

This is helpful to reflect on this message because when our church leaders hurt us.. when they neglect the sheep, then often people will start thinking it is their fault and will be crushed by the weight of this cross, but if we reflect that there are times when our religious leaders are not leading us, when they don't care as what happened with the priest sexual abuse and the leaders turned their backs on the victims, then we have to looke to the Good Shepherd Jesus who won't abandon us and will reach out to us with the kindness and compassion of the Good Shepherd.

Never let incompetent and corrupt religious leaders to pull you down. Look to the heart of Jesus and you will find Love.