The Gospel According to John – 2018.04.22
The Shepherd and the Sheep
There is wisdom and truth in the reading for today. There is also folly, misconstrual, fear, and lies.
Remember the beginning of Joh’s Gospel:
In the beginning was the Word
All things came to be through the Word
Not one thing came to be with the Word
In the Word was life, and light
Jesus is the Word of God, and the Word is the Good Shepherd, every sheep belongs to him.
There is not one sheep that is not a member of the sheep fold.
It is sad and unfortunate that the priests and the bishops of the Church, the hirelings who put themselves in positions of management forget this. They have done great harm to the People of God because of their fear, and their greed, and their shortsightedness.
They believed that were only responsible for a few of the sheep, when in reality that were tasked with protecting the whole.
Many of them, even from the earliest days of the church, presented themselves as Sheep And Shepherd to the community, but they were really rustlers and wolves who came to devour the flock; wounding and hurting it.
Remember, God does not love the shepherd because the shepherd laid down his life, but rather it is in recognition of God’s love and trust in God’s plan that the shepherd laid down his life.
Love preceded the sacrifice, the sacrifice did not engender love.
The Good Shepherd is One Who Lays Down His Life for His Sheep
‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.
The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep and runs away as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep; this is because he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep.
‘I am the good shepherd; I know my own
and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep.
And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well.
They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock, and one shepherd.
‘The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me; I lay it down of my own free will, and as it is in my power to lay it down, so it is in my power to take it up again; and this is the command I have been given by my Father.’
Fourth Sunday of Easter