Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Continuing on the theme of the good shepherd, Jesus draws a contrast between Himself and “a hired man.” Such a man is only paid for what he does, and has no real connection with the sheep. This is not the case with Jesus. The Good Shepherd has a very real connection with the flock. Our humanity is His humanity. Moreover, our baptism and confirmation has marked our very souls as His—we are branded as part of His herd.
This real and intense connection is worth thinking over. Jesus wishes to claim us, but how often do we allow ourselves to be claimed? How do we keep the marks of baptism and confirmation fresh within us? Each time we pray, we open ourselves to Jesus, and allow Him to re-claim us as His own. We learn to listen to His voice. We know Him and His voice even more strongly when we approach Him truly present in the Eucharist. As Jesus speaks of how He will shepherd the flock, even laying down His life for the sheep, we would do well to reflect on how we allow ourselves to be shepherded by Him.