“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why 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 on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”
As I sat meditating upon today’s gospel, a smile just crept across my face. I love this image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. I have a big tapestry depicting this in my classroom. Truly, if we follow Him, He will never lead us astray, but draw us unto Himself.
The line that really jumped out for me was this, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd.” It made me think of all of my brothers and sisters in the world of different faiths.
I do not believe that there is only one way to the Father – one way to heaven. Certainly, I feel convicted that my way (Catholicism) is the best way, or else I wouldn’t be Catholic! In heaven though, it will be so beautiful, that all believers will be united again – no divisions – all worshiping God together! In heaven, there will not be Catholics and Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians, Episcopalians, etc. We will all be one again. Praise God!