Jesus’ Life: Chapter 11 – Jesus At The Feast Of Tabernacles (St John)
Jesus said to the gathered crowd, “I am the Good Shepherd”.
The occasion was probably after he healed the man who was blind from birth and he wanted to share a deeper meaning of his teaching with the people.
Jesus told them this Parable:
“I tell you the solemn truth, the one who does not enter the sheepfold (common shed used to protect sheep overnight) by the door, but climbs in some other way is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The doorkeeper opens the door for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own sheep out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognise his voice. They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not recognise the stranger’s voice.”
Explanation: To help the people understand the Parable, Jesus added, “I am the door for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly”.
Shepherding was a common occupation in Jesus’ time. A shepherd had the important daily role of protecting their flock. Sheep needed taking from a shared overnight sheepfold (shed) to fresh daily grazing. They were vulnerable from dangers such as predators, thieves, dehydration in the midday heat or simply, becoming lost.
Jesus symbolically compared himself to a Shepherd; one who the sheep recognised by his voice, who protected them and they instinctively followed. Jesus was saying to the people, I am your true Shepherd, I love you, trust me; there is only one flock and one Shepherd.
Jesus added, “A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”. Soon after this gathering at the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus died on the Cross for our sins so that we could be saved. (John 10:1-18)
We pray for Pope Francis and all who help to care for Jesus’ flock today. May they receive the strength to protect and nurture His people.
look kindly on your servant Pope Francis;
You chose him to shepherd Your flock.
Guide and protect him in his daily work;
inspire him in Your ways to embrace Church unity.
Prayer: Faith (Adapted Unknown Author)
Lord, let my faith be full and unreserved
and let it penetrate my thoughts.
Lord, let my faith be joyful
and give peace and gladness to my spirit.
Lord, let my faith be humble
and let it surrender to the testimony of the Holy Spirit. Amen.