The idea of Jesus being our Advocate with the Father from last week’s second reading continues to spark my reflection.
I summarized a fairly dense paragraph about the First letter of John with the following two comments:
1. In sacrificing his humanity on the cross, Jesus becomes our Advocate with God the Father.
2. We are called to charitable living as a response to this gift
In today’s gospel, Jesus uses the allegory of the Good Shepherd to describe himself. The answers to three questions provide the basis for today’s article:
1. What are the qualifications of a Good Shepherd
2. How do I measure up?
3. What can I do?
The major qualification of the Good Shepherd is congruous to that of the Advocate. The Good Shepherd lays down His life.
I simply don’t measure up. If I were a pro golfer, I wouldn’t even make the cut. It is important however, to remember that Jesus calls himself the “Good” Shepherd, in contrast of the religious leaders of His time. This notwithstanding, it is freeing to acknowledge that my love can never be as perfect and complete as that of he who is GOoD Shepherd.
So what can I do? That is the upcoming week’s reflection. I’m sure you won’t be surprised that a song lies at the center of my initial thoughts.
In “With All The Saints” (#418) Bob Hurd names many who call you and me to advocacy. Among these are the poor and forsaken, the refugees and victims of violence.
Verse 6 is what brought this powerful prayer to mind:
So may this flock, this church once more gathered, faithfully follow its Shepherds voice to be a living sign of the love of God and neighbor.
Blessed to be at St. Mary’s,
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