This is Good Shepherd Sunday. A Good Shepherd does not work for wages alone. A Good Shepherd truly “loves his flock,” and willing gives himself completely to care for them. His sheep know his voice and follows him. They know he keeps them save.
If a landowner has a flock of sheep, a son and hired workers, who would you think would be the Good Shepherd for the sheep? Who would be the one who would give himself completely to caring for the sheep, because the landowner asked him? The landowner’s son, of course, would be best suited to obey his father and completely care for his sheep.
God the Father has multiple flocks of sheep scattered throughout the world, but He wants them to become one flock, cared for by the Good Shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, because He willing lays down His life for His sheep to do His Father’s will. Jesus loves his sheep so much that He would not abandon them, even at the cost of His own life.
We too are His sheep, but we are now more than just sheep that Jesus shepherds. Through baptism, we are members of His Body. We have become adopted children of God the Father. Therefore, like the Son, we are called by the Father to be shepherds to one another. That is why Jesus calls us to go out and gather sheep from the other flocks into His one flock, as members of His Body.
Now, we can understand what Peter said in today’s First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, “Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed.”
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who gave His life for His sheep, has called us as members of His Body; to be good shepherds to everyone we meet, healing them through the love God has given us in His Son, and calls us to give to each other.
– Bishop Roy Campbell