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The Good Shepherd of All

 
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Prayer-Soldier
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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 4:06 pm    Post subject: The Good Shepherd of All Reply with quote

The Good Shepherd of All

Scripture:


But Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke to them:

Therefore let all the house of Israel know most certainly that God has made both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus, whom you have crucified. Now when they had heard these things, they had compunction in their heart and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren? But Peter said to them: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call. And with very many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying: Save yourselves from this perverse generation. They therefore that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about three thousand souls.
(Acts 2:14a, 36-41)

But if doing well you suffer patiently: this is thank worthy before God. For unto this are you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Who, when he was reviled, did not revile: when he suffered, he threatened not, but delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly. Who his own self bore our sins in his body upon the tree: that we, being dead to sins, should live to justice: by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray: but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls. (1 Peter 2:20B-25)

Amen, amen, I say to you: He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold but climbs up another way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter opens: and the sheep hear his voice. And he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he has let out his own sheep, he goes before them: and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers. This proverb Jesus spoke to them. But they understood not what he spoke. Jesus therefore said to them again: Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All others, as many as have come, are thieves and robbers: and the sheep heard them not. I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved: and he shall go in and go out, and shall find pastures. The thief comes not, but for to steal and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they may have life and may have it more abundantly. (John 10:1-10)

Reflection:

We might ask of ourselves, in what type of generation are we living? As we survey our surroundings, we find those who are trustworthy and those who are dishonest. We find those who offer in charity and those who scheme for their own enrichment. We find those who are motivated by selflessness and those who are motivated by greed. We find those who are filled with love and those who are filled with hate. We find those who are guided by God and those who allow the evil one to consume them.

The challenges of our society are found within the boundaries of good and evil. Sin pulls us to the darkness while God beckons us to the light. The commands of God are those of good, but it remains our choice to allow them to be our guide; to allow them to bring goodness, peace, and love to our lives and to those who surround us. We must ask, why then, do we reject the goodness of the Lord? Why do we allow the temptations of evil to consume us? Why do we allow the evil one to seduce us to allow our existence to become one of darkness and misery?

There are many challenges before us, but if we seek the ways of God, it is within our power to protect the innocent and share the blessings of love. It is within our power to turn away evil. It is within our power to extinguish the darkness within the world by seeking to learn and live by His ways so that we may share the blessings of His eternal light.

We might wonder, how is it the sheep would be tempted to follow the thief rather than the shepherd? It is the shepherd which protects the sheep and provides for their needs, but it is the thief which lies in wait to steal and slay. The sheep who know their shepherd will follow him to green pastures and life giving waters, but the sheep who stray leave themselves vulnerable to the one who would do them harm and feed upon them.

Let us not be like the sheep who stray. Let us not follow the thief who lures us only so that we might be consumed. Let us not listen for a voice which is not that of our Shepherd. Let us, instead, listen carefully for the voice of the Shepherd so we may follow Him to the pasture of eternal life where we may receive the life giving waters. Let us seek the Shepherd of love who desires to provide eternal care and protection so that all the blessings He offers might forever be ours.

Questions for further reflection:

What do we allow within our lives which keeps us away from the Holy Spirit?

In what ways may we repent from our ways so that we may seek His ways?

How may we recognize the voice of our Shepherd so that we do not become victim to the thief?

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Prayer Soldier

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