A Reflection on The Good Shepherd


A Reflection on The Good Shepherd
By Dan Finucane

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APR. 25, 2010 ( - Have you ever had the sense that you “belonged to God”? That no one could remove you from the Lord’s grasp? I do hope that you have experienced this sense of belonging in your encounter with God.

I find this Sunday’s Gospel from John difficult though, not because I don’t think Jesus is being genuine by speaking so intimately about his sheep, rather, it can be hard for me to accept that “no one” can take me “out of the Father’s hand” – that I am one of the sheep for which he cares.

I think the root of this discomfort lies in the wariness to let myself be God’s; to allow myself to be vulnerable to this loving Mystery. To put it bluntly, I sometimes find being one of Christ’s sheep a difficult task!

And yet the promise of eternal life, a life colored with the love of a steady shepherd and companion does entice me in my more peaceful moments. I think that each of us has these moments where we allow ourselves to slip into solitude and embrace the God who longs to hold us in the warmth of a warm hug.

This acceptance should not be seen as a warm and fluffy type experience; in fact, I find that these experiences of belonging to God come after long bouts with spiritual turmoil or hard life decisions.

Again, being a sheep is not easy.

But the greatest insight to be gleaned from this passage is that God’s gratuitous love and forgiveness return again and again to awaken my stubborn heart to the possibility that I am God’s – I am one of Christ’s sheep.

And when I accept that belonging, peace is unavoidable not just for myself, but in my life lived with those around me. It is in my openness to God that I join the entire sheepfold of the people of God.

Dan Finucane is a senior at Saint Louis University.

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