Jesus is the Good Shepherd

Fr.-JeromeDear friends: Today is Good Shepherd Sunday and Vocation Sunday, and today’s readings present us with two images, the Children of God and the Good Shepherd.

In today’s gospel passage, Jesus emphasizes the self-sacrificing element in His own life in that He is the Good Shepherd who is laying down His life for His sheep. He contrasts the Good Shepherd who owns the sheep, to someone who is simply hired to look after them. The scriptures tell us the extraordinary love of God for us, has taken in Jesus, the form of the Good Shepherd. The image of the Good Shepherd was perhaps the favourite early Christian image of our Savior, and has a long tradition in the history of God’s people. It is one that would be immediately understood by the people of the time. We have the popular images of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, carrying a sheep over His shoulders, or we have a smiling Jesus sitting under a tree, with a little lamb on His lap. This image of the shepherd appeals to us because it shows the tenderness of Jesus and His compassion. Jesus, the eternal Shepherd, sends us out into the world to spread the message of love, to bring back the strayed sheep.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

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