Thought for the Day – 25 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Good Shepherd
“The Good Shepherd is the theme of two of the most moving passages in the Gospel.
“I am the good shepherd,” Jesus says. “The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. But, the hireling, who is not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees. and the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep … I am the good shepherd and I know mine and mine know me, even as the father knows me and I know the Father and I lay down my life for my sheep” (Jn 10:11-15).
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep,” He says elsewhere “and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after that which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it upon his shoulders rejoicing. And on coming home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me because, I have found my sheep that was lost.”
“I say to you that, even so, there will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety nine just, who have no need of repentance” (Cf Lk 15:4-7).
These texts vividly describe God’s mercy towards poor sinners.
We may often have been amongst the lost sheep which are separated from the flock of Jesus Christ.
We found, perhaps, the poisoned pastures of error and vice and strayed from the path of truth and goodness.
But what happened?
We experienced disillusionment and remorse and knew that we had lost our only real good, which is God.
How sad our fate would have been, if the Good Shepherd, Jesus, had not come to look for us and to enlighten us with His grace.
We should have been lost forever, in the desert of sin!”