A Note from the Pastor – April 19

Today, we hear, “I am the good shepherd!” echoing God’s description of his name in the Old Testament: I am who I am.

Seven times, Jesus introduces himself: “I am” – bread, life, way, truth, vine, door, good shepherd. He does not mean “good” in the sense of being patient and gentle with sheep and lambs; he is not a shepherd but “the shepherd,” the real one, the authentic one.

Pseudo-shepherds use sweet words to gain “likes” and fame without love for the flock, wolves fancily disguised but nevertheless wolves.

Open my eyes, Lord, to set my heart only on you, the not-for-profit shepherd, who lovingly gave your life to save me, bestowing divine life in every embrace; you are truly beautiful.

His beauty is not about appearances but a heartfelt connection with the flock, which the Gospel today repeatedly notes: I offer! I do not seize; I protect! I don’t abandon; I give life and never take one. It’s not a generic offering but a heart-to-heart gift of superior life, a testament to his love for us, making it easy to differentiate the good shepherd from the rest.

The highest possible: “I offer life.” This is not just about pastures and water; it’s about generative life. The shepherd is true because he performs the most royal and powerful gesture: giving, offering, providing, and throwing his life into the scales.

Under the guidance of this shepherd, may we always learn to give life.