Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Lays down his life

Image result for shepherd sheep

The prophet Ezekiel compares the bad shepherd-kings of Israel who greedily “feed themselves” but not the sheep with God who will make the sheep “lie down” in safety . God will seek the “lost,” bring back the “strayed,” bind up the “injured” and strengthen the “weak” as a good sheep whisperer will do, knowing that these are the keys to a healthy flock. To ensure that it is done well, God said that he would “set up one shepherd over them, my servant David” who shall “feed them and be their shepherd.”

That Good Shepherd, of course, is Jesus, who is both son of David and Son of God. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus picks up God’s critique of Israel’s bad shepherds (in this case, the Pharisees), and expresses again what the Good Shepherd does: he knows and cares for the sheep even if it costs him everything, including his own life. “I am the good shepherd,” he says. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”