The Word of God

Our Great Shepherd

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 12, 2019

“I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.”  There was a remarkable encounter with a visiting and potential donor to one of the many outreach clinics in the poorest part of Calcutta, India where the Sisters of Charity and Mother Teresa served the poor and dying. This visitor saw a young nun tendering washing a gaping wound of a man who was clearly dying of malnutrition and infection. Her response to the young religious sister was surprising: “I wouldn’t do that for all the money in the world!” The nun’s response was equally surprising: “Neither would I, Ma’am. Neither would I.” “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Thank God we have Jesus, our great shepherd!

The great lesson for all of us today is simple: God loves us and that is the only reason for His divine sacrifice for our eternal happiness. “For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” There is no money possibly gathered in all the lifetimes and eons of history on this planet that could even come close to what the Father has done for us in giving us His only begotten Son, Jesus for our salvation. In the light of all this, what is our response to others? Love often takes the form of forgiveness and patience even when it does not appear to be merited or proper. Yet, if we truly wish to honor what has been done for us by the death and resurrection of Christ, then perhaps we could learn much from the Great Shepherd’s tale: God loves me more in a single moment than anyone could in a lifetime.

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.  Martin Luther King, Jr.

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