Day 5 |
Heart of Jesus: The Good Shepherd
I am the Good Shepherd;
the good shepherd is one who
lays down his life for his sheep.
Psalm Prayer: Canticle of Ezekiel: 34:11-16 John 10:14
As shepherds keep all their flocks in view
when they stand up in the middle of their scattered sheep,
so shall I keep my sheep in view.
I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness.
I shall bring them out of the countries where they are;
I shall gather them together from foreign countries and bring them back to their own land.
I shall pasture them on the mountains of Israel,
in the ravines and in every inhabited place in the land.
I shall feed them in good pasture, the high mountains of Israel will be their grazing ground.
There they will rest in good grazing ground;
They will browse in rich pastures on the mountains of Israel
I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest.
I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong.
I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them.
Scripture Reading: John 10:14-18
Called to Shepherd:
I may have responsibility or co-responsibility for only one person or for many, but some responsibility for shepherding I have. What do I do when that one or the many are threatened by “wolves”? Can I recognize and name the wolf? Can I admit the fear that makes me neglect my responsibility? Do I seek to make the weak strong, to empower them so that they can become partners in shepherding? Do I seek out “other sheep”—who may be strange or unknown to me—for whom I may also have a responsibility to bring to good pasture?
The image of shepherd describes Jesus’ relationship to his people: a covenant relationship that guides, leads, gathers, searches, cares for, watches over each one. Jesus distinguishes between good shepherds and hired hands, between shepherds who are self-effacing and those who are self-serving. Jesus indicates a pattern of “right shepherding” that he expects us to follow. How are my shepherding skills? Come to hear the gentle and trustworthy shepherd within your heart.
Heart of Jesus, loving Shepherd of my soul, I thank you for your constant protection and for the way you guide my life. You are the Good Shepherd. You have given up your life that I might live. Help me to reach out to others with the same selfless love you have shown me. Help me to embrace my sisters and brothers. All who are different from me; all with whom I disagree, all who are in need of your love. AMEN