Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life 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.” With these words from today’s gospel reading from the holy Gospel according to John, chapter 10, verse 11 to 18, we are reminded that the Lord is totally responsible for us; is entirely dedicated to us and will do anything for our good. As we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday today, our gospel reading presents the image of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who sacrificed Himself for His sheep, in order to bring them back to the sheepfold. Today’s celebration also reminds us of God’s love for us, His responsibility to take care of us, and our call to meditate on His merciful and loving tenderness towards us with His death.

St. Peter explained to the Jewish leaders in our first reading today from the Acts of the Apostles chapter 4, verse 8 to 12 that it is this same love of God for us that made God sacrifice His only begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who suffered, was crucified, died and resurrected to grant us salvation, and which led to the healing of the crippled man. To summarize God’s love for us, St. John in his first letter chapter 3, verse 1 to 2, today’s second reading exclaims, “Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” My dear friends, today’s readings challenges us to take a moment and think about all God has done for us, and continues to do for us, in our lives and in the life of our families and friends. So ask yourself, do I truly love God as He loves me? What practices in my life show that I love Him? How strong and deep is my love for God especially when I think of all His blessings, graces and mercies upon me? How have I appreciated the good shepherds, that is, the good people God has put into my life to guide me, lead me to Him, protect me and keep me in His name? What can I do to strengthen and deepen my love for God? If we want to be grateful to God for His love and mercy towards you, then you have to:

  • Attentively listen to His words,
  • Wholeheartedly accept His words and teachings,
  • Truly follow Him, and
  • Sincerely practice His words by putting them into action.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s readings emphasize the importance of knowing and appreciating the loving kindness, mercy and sympathy of God for us and our call to appreciate our brothers and sisters who have shown us love, concern, kindness, nurturing, care, compassion, guidance, empathy, generosity and protection. So let us be appreciative, grateful and thankful to God for His love for us, as we listen attentively to His words, as we wholeheartedly accept His words, as we truly follow Him, and as we sincerely live out His words and His love in our world.