«I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Not so the hired hand or any other person who is not the shepherd and to whom the sheep do not belong. They abandon the sheep as soon as they see the wolf coming; then the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep. This is because the hired hand works for pay and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father. Because of this I give my life for my sheep.
»I have other sheep that are not of this fold. These I have to lead as well, and they shall listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock since there is one Shepherd. 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 freely. It is mine to lay down and to take up again: this mission I received from my Father».
What must we do to have eternal life? Jesus answers us by saying, do not be blind, see for yourselves, and recognize your Shepherd, the Shepherd of Israel, who is the only door that will give you access to the Father. In these days we prepare ourselves for deconfinement, knowing that life will no longer be the same. Many of us suffer without being able to participate in the Eucharist, the source of our life. Even though we are in Easter time, we unfortunately live in the desert. It is important that we remember the experience of the people of Israel in the desert and also the temptation of the Lord because they were hungry. It is in such disappointed moment, an moment of emptiness that the Lord respond. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
Saint John introduces us to the good shepherd. The good shepherd knows his sheep and the sheep recognize his voice. We know for sure that Jesus understands our daily concerns. He sees our human difficulty and human suffering. In difficult times, He is the door that protects and liberates us. He will be our liberator, if we recognize that He is our Shepherd and we are his sheep. The Church invites us to re-read our lives. Are we really His sheep? Do we hear the Word of our Shepherd? Do we recognize the instructions He is giving us here now?
In the first reading Peter asks us to recognize that the Lord is our only Shepherd and we are his sheep. From the Shepherd to the sheep, there a deep relationship is built and it is built in a trust that helps us to flourish. Jesus is the door, who gives access to the truth, the knowledge of the Father. We should get closer to him.
This parable is a continuation of the healing of the born blind. He was able to see in Jesus the Savior, that is why, even if others prevented him, he cried with a loud voice, Jesus Son of David have mercy on me. Jesus called him and gave him sight, new life, a life of light. Jesus tells us again in this parable, "He calls each of them by name and brings them out. "Let us trust in Jesus and he will bring us out.
We must recognize that the Church is currently going through a period of transition that obliges it to reconsider in depth its relationship to the world. The world is still searching for meaning, the meaning of life, the life of man. For centuries, God our Father had, in his goodness, entrusted his flock to his shepherds. On this Good Shepherd's Day, I invite you to pray for the shepherds of your parishes, that they may constantly reinvent a certain type of divine presence, so that the sheep may hear the voice of his Shepherd. Let us pray for ourselves, the Father's beloved sheep, that every man may take Jesus as his model and follow his path. Amen.