25 April 2015

WHERE ARE YOUR NAIL MARKS?

4th Sunday of Easter
Jn 10:11-18 (Acts 4:8-12 / Ps 118 / 1 Jn 3:1-2)


Whether symbolic or literal, there are many shepherds around.  But not all shepherds are good.  Jesus is THE Good Shepherd.

Some shepherds work for pay.  When the pay is little, the devotion to the sheep is very slight.  They abandon the sheep when they think they are not paid well.  On the wage, not the sheep, their eyes are set on.  The sheep is not theirs.  They have not love for their sheep.  Wala po silang malasakit sa kawan.

The good shepherd does not work for pay.  The good shepherd works for the sheep even there is no pay.  No, the good shepherd does not work for his sheep.  He sacrifices for it.  He serves it.  He loves it.  He lays down his life for it.

Some shepherds may not know the sheep because the sheep is not theirs.  Why should a hired hand waste time naming the sheep that is not his anyway?  For it takes more than just pasturing the sheep for the shepherd to know the sheep.  To know the sheep, the shepherd must smell like the sheep.  He lives with the fold, lives in the fold

The good shepherd knows his sheep by name, by color, by odor, by temperament.  The good shepherd loves his sheep the way each of them needs loving.  The good shepherd, if needed, becomes like of the sheep.

Sometimes, some shepherds do compete with other shepherds, and their flocks are, without fail, the casualties.  Shepherding is not a competition.  Shepherding is service.  Shepherding is not about position but about ministry.  It is about charism not power.

The good shepherd serves and not competes.  The good shepherd exercises a ministry and not only occupies a position.  The power of the good shepherd is in putting his charism at the service of the sheep.

Most shepherds are not concerned about sheep that do not belong to their fold.  This is quite understandable.  For why should a shepherd be anxious about sheep that do not belong to his pasture?  He already has troubles in his own fold.

The good shepherd has a big heart, so big that it cannot only carry his own troubles but also share in the burdens of others – shepherds and sheep alike.

Because they work for pay, some shepherds will never lay down their lives for the sheep.  It is totally insane to die for an animal.  Shepherds are expected to protect their sheep but it is utter foolishness for them to die for their fold.

But the good shepherd not only defends His sheep, He gives His life for His sheep.  He spends not just his time but his life for them.  He nourishes his sheep in the rich pasture of his very life.

Jesus is our Good Shepherd.  There is no other: we are called to be like Him, for we are shepherds in one way or another, even as we are sheep of His fold at the same time.

One day, Satan appeared to a saintly man and said, “I am Jesus Christ!”  The saintly man, without blinking an eye, replied, “Show me your nail marks.”  Thereupon, Satan vanished from his sight.

Where are our nail marks?  We are shepherds to some people, are wou not?  Where are our nail marks?  Parents, you shepherd your children.  Where are your nail marks?  Teachers, you shepherd your students.  Do you have nail marks?  Public officials, you shepherd your constituents.  Show your nail marks.  As leaders in various ways and degrees, we are shepherds.  Where are our nail marks?

Only shepherds with nail marks are good shepherds.  Like Jesus who died for us, His sheep, good shepherds lay down their lives for their sheep on the altar of daily living.  A woundless shepherd may be playing safe while enjoying the privilege and prestige of being in authority.  But a wounded shepherd may be wounded precisely because his authority costs him and not his sheep.  Good shepherds strive to be another Jesus to those entrusted to their care.


Are we good shepherds?  If, indeed, we are, then show our nail marks.








2 Comments:

At 9:30 PM , Blogger 26Che said...

Thank you for another inspiring interpretation, Father. God bless you.

 
At 1:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope someday u celebrate mass here at philamlife vill las pinas.God bless u always Father.i hope one of my 5 sons will also enter priesthood

 

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