The image of the Good Shepherd is profoundly reassuring. We hear it today in John’s gospel and elsewhere in the Bible. It evokes a tremendous feeling of being cared for—the consolation of faith. Even in these difficult days, we need such reassurance. At the same time, the metaphor is used in a dissonant way: no regular shepherd, however caring, gives his life for his sheep! Cosy familiarity can dull the sense of shock: what is going on here? The gentle pastoral language suddenly gives way to sacrifice, as the shepherd becomes the Lamb of God.
Jesus our shepherd, we know your care for us was costly as you laid down your life and took it up again. Help us to know again “the great events that gave us new life” in you, that we may hear you and follow you in all we do.
K O’Mahony OSA