What’s Good About Shepherds?

2023년 4월 30일

What’s Good About Shepherds?

< Fourth Sunday of Easter  >

 This is traditionally called “Good Shepherd  Sunday” because of the readings that declare “The Lord is my shepherd” and Jesus announcing, “I am the good shepherd.” We hear this expressing so often it no longer surprises us. In Jesus’ time, shepherds were rough characters, much like cowboys are idolized by  generations of young people on television. Like cowboys, shepherds were rough characters who not only led his flock of sheep but often had to fight an attacking wolf, lion or bear. But Jesus wants people to consider the devotion of shepherds who will leave the flock in search of one lost sheep.

Behind this image are some interesting facts. If a sheep separates from the flock, it is so frightened in just stays still. That is to say, unless the shepherd goes and looks for it, the sheep will remain lost and either die of starvation or worse— be eaten by wolves. Once he finds the lost sheep, the shepherd has to put it on his shoulders because the lost sheep is too frightened to walk by itself. This is what Jesus wants us to know: when we are lost, confused, forgotten or afraid, he will come looking for us! He will even lay down his life to save us. And a shepherd sleeps across the gate so the sheep do not wander away at night nor can enemies get in to harm them.