Reflections - May 7, 2017

“My sheep hear my voice….and they follow me.” Jn. 10:27.
Today the Church presents us with the Gospel of the Good Shepherd.
Abraham was the first pastor presented in the history of the people of Israel.  He was a nomad who cared for sheep and the Lord called him to leave everything and follow him.
The figure of the pastor also appears in Moses.  He went to Median, married and attends the sheep of his father-in-law, Jethro.  Then the Lord appears to him so that he can be the shepherd that liberates Israel from slavery in Egypt.
In Jesus’ times the figure of the pastor was the figure of God, who gave His life for His sheep.  The Pastor is gracious and merciful and carries sickness on his shoulders.  They have discovered in Rome’s catacombs a rock with the image of the Lord carrying a weak and sick lamb.  That would be you and I.
We know that sometimes the road is long and that in our walk through this world we hear the voice of our Shepherd, but we also hear the voices of the world that “are the thieves of our soul” which seek to destroy us.  However, the Lord gives us, through prayer and the sacraments, the spiritual discernment to know how to distinguish between the voice of our Shepherd Jesus Christ who gave His life for us and the voice of the enemy, “that comes to steal, destroy and kill”.  It is the grace of Jesus Christ who makes us children of God and heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The root of our faith and salvation is based on Jesus.  As the Apostle Peter says:  He is the one who helps us “be patient when you suffer for doing what is good.  By his wounds you have been healed.  For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls”. 
1 Pt. 2:20-21, 25.
Jesus the Good Shepherd looks for you and me to show His love and teach us that we can change.  Jesus sought Zacchaeus and changed him and Magdalena and changed her.  He also looks for you and me, but do we change?  Do we feel a risen change?  If so, then reflect it in your kindness and “patience” toward the weakest, your children, elderly parents, the community.  Are you the good shepherd for them?
Remember that we have a “gate” that we can enter.  When we feel discouraged, He encourages us for as the Lord says:  “I am the gate.  Whoever enters through me will be saved………I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”  Jn. 9-10.