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Think Upon the Shepherd

June 13, 2011

The image of the Shepherd is one of the most heart-warming and encouraging in the Bible. Even if the appointed leaders of the people should fail, yet ‘I myself shall take care of my flock and look after it…I myself shall pasture my sheep…I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded …’ (Ezekiel 34:11-16). The Psalmist sings therefore: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing’ (Psalm 23:1). And Jesus in the gospel looks out upon us all: ‘And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd’ (Matthew 9:36). Further, he says: ‘I am the Good Shepherd; I know my own and my own know me’ (John 10:14). So, harassed and dejected, or wandering aimlessly, or falling into ravines, there is someone calling out to us, through friends or community, or in the depths of our hearts, and especially in a moment of prayer. It is worthwhile, this continuing Eastertide, to look to Jesus, and see him as the Good Shepherd. Amid all the voices competing for my attention, his voice is clear and true, calling me by name, guiding me along a good way, and leading to safe pasture and to refreshing waters. ‘By tranquil streams he leads me to restore my spirit’ (Psalm 23:2).

+ Sacred Space

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