I AM the Good Shepherd
Reflection on the Gospel of the Monday
Memorial: St. Joseph the Worker
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep
The Shepherd is supposed to protect his sheep from all elements that will harm those in his care. The Kings of Israel were called to protect and defend their people from all harm and lead them unto paths of salvation by showing them righteousness paths, i.e. how to be in a relationship with God, and thus honour God with all their heart, mind and strength. But they failed miserably and even lead the people astray.
Here is Jesus claiming to be Israel’s King – the King of Israel – the Good God, who set them apart, proclaimed his rulership over them at Sinai, now at last here to claim His rightful place in their hearts. He proclaimed to them – I am here to save you, I will bring you back into relationship with God. Even if you have wandered far away, I will come get you, and bring you back. I am your Shepherd-King, I am your God. And I will not run away to save my own skin, when trouble comes. I will laydown my life in defence, as the perpetual protection for your life – a sacrifice acceptable to God, which draws God who was far away, to come closer to us, as close as our own breath. And if God is at hand and for us, who can be against us.
God our King you are our Shepherd, Good, mighty and closer than our own breathe, help us to lean on you in all our needs and wants, and be directed into all righteousness.