Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk
30th April 2017
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
by Cardinal Angel Herrera Oria
This season of the Resurrection is one of hope.
We must do our share in union with the Good Shepherd.
This is accomplished first by our gratitude. From Advent
we have been contemplating the love of Jesus in the
various mysteries. Now, when the consummation of the
work of the redemption is over, He presents Himself to
us on the altar as if to embrace us all as the shepherd
does his sheep. What more could I have done for it? (My
vineyard - Isaias 5).
Our reply to all this must be gratitude and generous
We may and should say with St Paul: Who will separate us
from the love of Christ? Will affliction, or distress,
or persecution, or hunger, or nakedness, or peril, or
the sword? For thy sake, says the Scripture, we face
death at every moment, reckoned no better than sheep
marked down for slaughter. Yet in all this we are
conquerors, through Him who has granted us His love. Of
this I am full persuaded; neither death nor life, no
Angels or Principalities or Powers, neither what is
present nor what is to come, no force whatever, neither
the height above us nor the depth beneath us, nor any
other created thing, will be able to separate us from
the love of God, which comes to us in Christ Jesus, our
Lord (Rom. 8).
Good Shepherd said to the world: I am the light of the
world. He who follows Me can never walk in darkness; he
will possess the light which is life (John 8). These are
the words of Christ, says The Imitation, by which we are
admonished that we must imitate His life and manners, if
we would be truly enlightened and delivered from all
blindness of heart (Book 1).
From gratitude and fidelity there follows as a
consequence the imitation of the way of acting of
Christ. As St. Peter says in the Epistle, Christ died
and gave us an example that we should follow in His
footsteps. His way must be ours - the way of love,
sorrow, suffering, patience, complete submission and
handing over of the will to the commands of the Father.
It must in a special way be the path trodden by all
those who have responsibility for the souls of others
and who thus have the role of shepherd thrust upon them.
He has shown us how to despise death that we may follow
Him; He has proposed for us the model we should follow.
May we fulfil this by sacrificing ourselves in charity
for the flock, giving up our material goods, if
necessary our very lives. Thus, through the former and
less perfect we shall attain the latter and more
perfect. And since the soul is much more precious than
material goods which we may possess in an exterior
manner, who will not give his inheritance for the sheep
when he is already prepared to give his life for them?