Today is often called Good Shepherd Sunday. Shepherds were at the very bottom of the status in the ancient world. They were uneducated, illiterate, dirty, smelly, rough and irreligious men. It is simply astonishing that the image of Christ as the Good Shepherd would be the favorite depiction of Jesus in the early days of the Church.
The symbol has many different interpretations in the gospel narratives Jesus knows us as the Sheperd knows his cheap, Jesus searches for the lost the way the shepherd searches for his lost sheep, Jesus wants there to be one fold and one shepherd.
All, however, emphasize the intimacy between Jesus and his followers, an intimacy which continues even till this day
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once there was a lieutenant who was assigned to replace a veteran platoon leader in a combat situation. The soldiers in the platoon worshipped the wounded veteran. Tough combat veterans they were suspicious of the new officier who was a young man just out of an ROTC college program. He surprised them by saying that he intended to bring every soldier in the platoon home, I hope alive but even if youre killed, Ill promise you that your body will go home to your families. He wasnt concerned about winning the respect of his troops.
Rather he was intent on taking care of them. He took no chances, and insisted that all the patrols were cautious and careful. He made sure their weapons were in good working order. He took the lead whenever they went into a potential combat situation. He was a taciturn and reserved man, though he always asked what the soldiers thought they should do in a tight spot.He went back for the wounded and brought them back to safety. Somehow he managed to lead the platoon through every dangerous situation. Many were wounded and evacuated, but everyone survived.
Then on their last mission he was badly wounded as he carried a wounded kid back to the medics.Someone snapped a picture of him, before the helicopter off the ground. Ther rest of the men carried a copy of that photo with them for the rest of their lives. I wouldnt be here if it wasnt for thim, they would tell people. He knew us better than we knew ourselves.
1 O give thanks to the LORD,
for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever!
Alleluia Jn 10:14R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 10:11-18Jesus said:
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”
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In Memory of Father Andrew M. Greeley
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