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From: John 10:11-18

The Good Shepherd (Continuation)

[11] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
[12] He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees
the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and
scatters them. [13] He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the
sheep. [14] I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, [15]
as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for My
sheep. [16] And I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them al-
so, and they will heed My voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd. [17]
For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, that I may take
it again. [18] No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have
power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received
from My Father.”


11-15. “The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep”: “Here”, says St.
John Chrysostom, “He is speaking of His passion, making it clear this would
take place for the salvation of the world and that He would go to it freely and
willingly” (”Hom. on St. John”, 59, 3). Our Lord spoke further about giving abun-
dant pasture; now He speaks about giving His very life: “He did what He said He
would do”, St. Gregory comments; “He gave His life for His sheep, and He gave
His body and blood in the Sacrament to nourish with His flesh the sheep He had
redeemed” (”In Evangelia Homilae”, 14, “ad loc.”). Hired men, on the other hand,
run away if there is any danger, leaving the flock at risk. “Who is the hireling?
He who sees the wolf coming and flees. The man who seeks his own glory, not
the glory of Christ; the man who does not dare reprove sinners. You are the hire-
ling; you have seen the wolf coming and have fled [...] because you held your
peace; and you held your peace, because you were afraid” (St. Augustine, “In
Ioann Evang.”, 46, 8).

“Let them remember that their priestly ministry [...] is—in a special way—’ordered’
to the great solicitude of the Good Shepherd, solicitude for the salvation of every
human being. And this we must all remember: that it is not lawful for any one of
us to deserve the name of ‘hireling’, that is to say, the name of one ‘to whom the
sheep do not belong’, one who, ‘since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do
not belong to him, abandons the sheep and runs away as soon as he sees the
wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep; this is because
he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep.’ The solicitude of every
good shepherd is that all people ‘may have life and have it to the full’, so that none
of them may be lost but should have eternal life. Let us endeavor to make this so-
licitude penetrate deeply into our souls; let us strive to live it. May it characterize
our personality, and be at the foundation of our priestly identity” (Bl. John Paul II,
“Letter to Priests”, 8 April 1979).

The Good Shepherd knows each of His sheep and calls it by name. This touching
simile seems to be an exhortation to future pastors of the Church, as St. Peter
will later on explain: “Tend the flock that is your charge, not for shameful gain but
eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the
flock” (1 Peter 5:2).

“The holiness of Christ’s Spouse has always been shown — as it can be seen to-
day —by the abundance of good shepherds. But our Christian faith, which teaches
us to be simple, does not bid us to be simple-minded. There are hirelings who
keep silent, and there are hirelings who speak with words which are not those of
Christ. That is why, if the Lord allows us to be left in the dark even in little things,
if we feel that our faith is not firm, we should go to the good shepherd. He enters
by the door as of right. He gives his life for others and wants to be in word and be-
havior a soul in love. He may be a sinner too, but he trusts always in Christ’s for-
giveness and mercy” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 34).

16. “One flock, one shepherd”: Christ’s mission extends to everyone even though
His own preaching is addressed, in the first instance, to the sheep of the house
of Israel, as He Himself revealed to the Canaanite woman (cf. Matthew 15:24),
and even though He sent the Apostles on their first mission (cf. Matthew 10:6) to
preach to the people of Israel. Now, however, foreseeing the fruits of His redemp-
tive death (verse 15), He reveals that these will be applied to “other sheep, that
are not of this fold”, that is, Israel, and, after the Resurrection, He does send the
Apostles to all nations (cf. Matthew 28:19), to preach the Gospel to all creation
(cf. Matthew 16:15), beginning in Jerusalem and extending to all Judea, Samaria
and the ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). This fulfills the ancient promises about
the rule of the Messiah covering the whole world (cf. Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 2:2-6; 66:
17-19). The universal scope of salvation caused St. Paul to exclaim: “Remember
that at one time you...were...separated from Christ, alienated from the common-
wealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and
without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have
been brought near in the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:11-13; cf. Galatians 3:27-
28; Romans 3:22).

The unity of the Church is to be found under one visible head, for “it was to the
Apostolic College alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord
entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the
one body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in
any way to the people of God” (Vatican II, “Unitatis Redintegratio”, 3). It is a Ca-
tholic’s constant yearning that everyone should come to the true Church, “God’s
one flock, which like a standard lifted high for the nations to see, ministers the
Gospel of peace to all mankind, as it makes it pilgrim way in hope towards its
goal,the fatherland above” (”ibid.”, 2).

17-18. Jesus shows that of His own free will He will give Himself up to death for
the sake of the flock (cf. John 6:51). Having been given supreme authority, Christ
is free to offer Himself as a sacrifice of expiation, and He voluntarily accepts His
Father’s commandment, in an act of perfect obedience. “We will never fully under-
stand Jesus’ freedom. It is immense, infinite, as is His love. But the priceless trea-
sure of His generous holocaust should move us to ask, ‘Why, Lord, have you gran-
ted me this privilege which I can use to follow in Your footsteps, but also to offend
You?’ Thus we come to appreciate that freedom is used properly when it is direc-
ted towards the good; and that it is misused when men are forgetful and turn a-
way from the Love of loves” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”, 26).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 05/11/2014 7:40:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

First reading

Acts 11:1-18 ©

The apostles and the brothers in Judaea heard that the pagans too had accepted the word of God, and when Peter came up to Jerusalem the Jews criticised him and said, ‘So you have been visiting the uncircumcised and eating with them, have you?’ Peter in reply gave them the details point by point: ‘One day, when I was in the town of Jaffa,’ he began ‘I fell into a trance as I was praying and had a vision of something like a big sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners. This sheet reached the ground quite close to me. I watched it intently and saw all sorts of animals and wild beasts – everything possible that could walk, crawl or fly. Then I heard a voice that said to me, “Now, Peter; kill and eat!” But I answered: Certainly not, Lord; nothing profane or unclean has ever crossed my lips. And a second time the voice spoke from heaven, “What God has made clean, you have no right to call profane.” This was repeated three times, before the whole of it was drawn up to heaven again.

  ‘Just at that moment, three men stopped outside the house where we were staying; they had been sent from Caesarea to fetch me, and the Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going back with them. The six brothers here came with me as well, and we entered the man’s house. He told us he had seen an angel standing in his house who said, “Send to Jaffa and fetch Simon known as Peter; he has a message for you that will save you and your entire household.”

  ‘I had scarcely begun to speak when the Holy Spirit came down on them in the same way as it came on us at the beginning, and I remembered that the Lord had said, “John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” I realised then that God was giving them the identical thing he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; and who was I to stand in God’s way?’

  This account satisfied them, and they gave glory to God. ‘God’ they said ‘can evidently grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to life.’


Psalm 41:2-3,42:3-4 ©

My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life.



Like the deer that yearns

  for running streams,

so my soul is yearning

  for you, my God.

My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life.



My soul is thirsting for God,

  the God of my life;

when can I enter and see

  the face of God?

My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life.



O send forth your light and your truth;

  let these be my guide.

Let them bring me to your holy mountain,

  to the place where you dwell.

My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life.



And I will come to the altar of God,

  the God of my joy.

My redeemer, I will thank you on the harp,

  O God, my God.

My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life.



Gospel Acclamation


Alleluia, alleluia!

I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;

I know my own sheep and my own know me.



John 10:11-18 ©

Jesus said:

‘I am the good shepherd:

the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.

The hired man, since he is not the shepherd

and the sheep do not belong to him,

abandons the sheep and runs away

as soon as he sees a wolf coming,

and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep;

this is because he is only a hired man

and has no concern for the sheep.

‘I am the good shepherd;

I know my own

and my own know me,

just as the Father knows me

and I know the Father;

and I lay down my life for my sheep.

And there are other sheep I have

that are not of this fold,

and these I have to lead as well.

They too will listen to my voice,

and there will be only one flock,

and one shepherd.

‘The Father loves me,

because I lay down my life

in order to take it up again.

No one takes it from me;

I lay it down of my own free will,

and as it is in my power to lay it down,

so it is in my power to take it up again;

and this is the command I have been given by my Father.’

5 posted on 05/11/2014 8:01:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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