“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In Luke, we read of the shepherd who leaves behind the other sheep to search for the one that is lost. It is a story of Christ’s intense desire to show us mercy.
In John, we read of the shepherd and the gatekeeper who guard the sheep and lead the flock forth. It is a story of Christ’s presence in the Church, protecting us and leading us into mission.
I need to hear His voice. But how easy it is for my attention to wander! Like a sheep who follows but becomes distracted along the way, I stop listening for the sound of the Shepherd’s voice. So many other voices compete for my attention.
I need to be drawn back by His Voice. It is the Voice that calls my name.
—Fr. Robert Flack, S.J. is a retreat director at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington IL.
Life-giving God, thanks so much for all those good people who have looked after me and tended the flock of my family. Especially this Mothers’ Day, I bless you for the gift of my mother, grandmothers, God-mother, and those other good women who have shown me your face. Strengthen us all this special day of family and faith, especially through the care of Mary, our mother. Amen!
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!