On this 4th Sunday of Easter, Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd, the Messiah, ready to lay down his life for his sheep. He knows his sheep and they know him. This is all part of God’s plan of salvation. Jesus chooses to lay down his life in obedience to the Father’s plan. The people who hate him and persecute him are just part of the plan and the irony is that they do not even realize it.
The Lord is our shepherd, our leader. We, the sheep, the followers need to be tuned in to His voice and what he has to tell us, as Christians. The Holy Spirit guides our way and protects us from evil, just like the shepherds of old.
In the modern Church we have pastors who take care of their flock, their parishioners. They are leaders who are responsible for caring for the needs of their people—they are shepherds of people. The Bishop carries a crosier or staff that represents a “shepherd’s crook” –used by shepherds to save sheep that have fallen.
Our modern day shepherds have a great responsibility and we ask the Lord to guide each of them and protect them and keep them on the right path as His shepherds in His Church.
Rev. Bob Pope