Working with the Word
Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: hear my voice, follow me, eternal life, No one can take them out of my hand
To the point: Our being “sheep” does not mean that we blindly follow Jesus, but that we actively pursue a relationship with him by hearing his voice and heeding his words. Although following the Good Shepherd truly leads to eternal life, the way of discipleship is not easy. However, nothing can interfere with Jesus’ care for us: we are secure in his hands. We are never alone for he is the good Shepherd.
Connecting the Gospel …
... to the first reading: Jesus is both the Good Shepherd (Gospel) and the Lamb who was slain (Second Reading). As shepherd, Jesus is the one who cares for us and leads us even when we face jealousy, abuse, and rejection (First Reading). As lamb, Jesus is the one who lays down his life in sacrifice for us.
... to experience: The tumult of the world is not a sign that God has abandoned us. Jealousy, violent abuse, persecution, expulsions, etc. have always been part of our human condition. In all of this, Jesus will shepherd us, lead us to “springs of life-giving water,” and “wipe away every tear” (Second Reading).
**From Saint Louis University