A Shepherd’s Care: Life’s Journey in 2020
Today our Easter celebration continues, and the Gospel selection continues yesterday’s Gospel selection from John 10, sharing Jesus’ loving message: He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for us; He knows us and we know Him; He seeks to unite us all. In all of life He offers us the gift of His Love…the Good Shepherd.
For many of us in 21st century United States, our image of “sheep” and “shepherding” relies simply on textbook knowledge or the occasional ride through the countryside. We may have (and dutifully care for!) various types of household pets, yet we lack the full understanding that Jesus imparts in His image of shepherding, protecting and caring for a flock of sheep in the everyday world of times past.
Jesus the Good Shepherd speaks to us today. As our world experiences the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Risen Jesus speaks to us today as He did to the men and women of long ago: “I care!” “I love you!” Wracked by the illness, death, fear and uncertainty so evident today, we meet the Risen Jesus who as a gentle shepherd reaches out to us with His hands of love that are marked by the nails of crucifixion; Jesus the Good Shepherd walks with us on the road of life, His feet marred by the nails of crucifixion; Jesus the Good Shepherd looks us in our eyes and lovingly sees into the depths of our hearts. Jesus knows us well, what it is to suffer; we are not alone as we deal with life today!
As people of faith, we are invited to deeper trust, to a renewed realization that we are not alone, that both security and goodness are shared with us in ordinary and extraordinary ways, that healing and life and growth and love are real…in Jesus! Jesus knows us well … and loves us dearly! Amen! Alleluia!
(And we continue our prayer and support for an increase in priestly and religious vocations…those whose vocation, in a distinct way, continues Jesus’ love as the Good Shepherd.)
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the Vocation Director for Holy Cross Province. He lives at St. Vincent Strambi Community in Chicago, Illinois.