Christ, Our Good Shepherd

2024년 4월 21일

Christ, Our Good Shepherd

< Fourth Sunday of Easter >

 We are all familiar with Jesus calling himself the “good shepherd who lays down his life for his friends.” We know the image of the shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine sheep in search of the one who is lost. But as familiar as these images are, truth be told, most of us have never even seen a shepherd in real life. Shepherds were not seen as particularly holy, since watching their sheep 24/7 they really couldn’t keep all the commandments, especially about not working on Saturdays, the original Sabbath Day. What’s more, shepherds were crude, rough men who had to be gentle enough to keep the sheep together but strong enough to fight off wolves. He called each sheep by name and they listen to his voice and answer his call. What’s interesting about today’s gospel is Jesus saying “there are other sheep I have who are not of this fold. These also I must lead, and they will head my voice.”

In other words, not all Christians are Catholics yet clearly, they too belong to him. Our calling isn’t simply to become better Catholics, but also to be more faithful followers of Christ. The true test of being an authentic follower of Christ is not only doing helpful things, but more importantly, cooperating with other churches who, although not Roman Catholic, are nevertheless striving to be true to his Word. If competing with other churches and denominations is unavoidable and in our nature, let us compete, not on theological or liturgical grounds, but especially in doing good to others, defending the poor, befriending the outcast, feeding the hungry and fighting the lost.