The Unique Shepherd — 4th Sunday of Easter—Year C

Last weekend I traveled across Minnesota for my friend Bernadette’s thirtieth birthday party. I also met her fiancé, Glen, who is a farmer. We visited Glen’s farm and saw his flock of sheep in the barn. Watching the sheep was a fun experience for me and serious research as well. Both Jesus and the Scriptures talk a lot about sheep. As today’s psalm says, “We are his  people, the sheep of his flock.” I studied this flock to see what I could learn.

I had never realized how timid sheep are. When we entered the barn they ran away to the far end of the barn. The new lambs in their smaller pen tried to hide their noses in a corner away from us. I was a little disappointed. I would have liked these sheep and lambs to be friendly, cuddly, and affectionate, but they were skittish. When Glen walked near them they had a small stampede. Glen said the sheep will come near if they see that he is about to feed them hay.

I felt somewhat disappointed in the behavior of the sheep. Then I wondered how much we resemble these sheep in our relationship with the Jesus the Good Shepherd. As members of Jesus’ flock we often neglect to approach him unless we need or want something from him. We often feel afraid to come too close to him because we fear what he might ask of us. Does Jesus feel contempt towards us, his flock, because of our neglect and timidity? No, he holds us tightly, and ‘no one can take us out of his hand.’ Jesus is unlike any other shepherd. Jesus has done something no other shepherd has done. Jesus has become a lamb among his own flock.

In Revelation, John sees Jesus as ‘the Lamb who is in the center of the throne who will shepherd us and lead us.’ Our shepherd is a sinless lamb. I have never been a sheep myself, so I do not truly understand what they experience. But Jesus truly understands our human condition. As Jesus said of his sheep, “I know them, and they follow me.”

Perhaps Glen’s flock fled from him because he does not live in their barn and fields with them. But our Lord Jesus Christ, like ancient shepherds, remains with his flock always. Encouraged by his constant devotion to us, let us hear his voice and follow him. Let us pray to the Lord always, and not merely when we want something from him. And let us come closer to our Good Shepherd, receptive to whatever his will for us may be.

La semana pasada viajé a través de Minnesota para la fiesta de cumpleaños trigésimo de mi amiga Bernadette. También conocí a su prometido, Glen, quien es agricultor. Visitamos su granja y vimos su rebaño de ovejas en el establo. Mirar las ovejas fue una experiencia divertida para mí y una investigación seria también. Tanto Jesús y las Escrituras hablan mucho de ovejas. Como el salmo de hoy dice: “Somos su pueblo y su rebaño.” Estudié este rebaño a ver qué podía aprender.

Nunca me había dado cuenta de lo tímidas ovejas. Cuando entramos en el establo huyeron hasta el extremo. El nuevo corderos en la pluma más pequeña trataron de ocultar sus narices en un rincón alejado de nosotros. Yo estaba un poco decepcionado. Deseé estas ovejas y corderos ser amigable, tierno y cariñoso, pero estaban nerviosos. Cuando Glen caminaba cerca de ellos tenían una pequeña estampida. Glen dijo que las ovejas se acercará si ven que él está a punto darles de comer heno.

Me sentí un poco decepcionado con el comportamiento de estas ovejas. Entonces me pregunté cuánto somos como las ovejas en nuestra relación con Jesús el Buen Pastor. Como miembros de rebaño de Cristo, a menudo nos olvidamos de acercarse a él a menos que necesitamos o queremos algo de él. A menudo nos sentimos miedo de acercado demasiado a él porque tememos lo que él puede pedir de nosotros. ¿Tiene Jesús nos desprecian, sus ovejas, a causa de nuestra negligencia y timidez? No, él nos sostiene firmemente, y ‘nadie puede sacarnos de su mano.’ Jesús es diferente a ningún otro pastor. Jesús ha hecho algo que ningún otro pastor ha hecho. Jesús se ha convertido en un cordero entre sus ovejas.

En Apocalipsis, Juan ve a Jesús como ‘el Cordero, que está en el trono, quien será nuestro pastor y conducirá nos’. Nuestro pastor es un cordero sin pecado. Nunca he sido una oveja a mí mismo, así que no entiendo realmente lo que experimentan. Pero Jesús realmente entiende nuestra condición humana. Como dijo Jesús de sus ovejas, “Yo las conozco y ellas me siguen.”

Tal vez el rebaño de Glen huyó de él porque él no vive en su establo y sus campos con ellos. Pero nuestro Señor Jesucristo, como pastores antiguos, permanece con su rebaño siempre. Alentado por su constante devoción a nosotros, vamos a escuchar su voz y seguirlo. Oremos al Señor siempre, y no sólo cuando queremos algo de él. Y háganos acercarnos a nuestro Buen Pastor, receptivo a cualquiera que sea su voluntad para nosotros sea.

Advertisements

One Response to “The Unique Shepherd — 4th Sunday of Easter—Year C”

  1. Gabriel Pulido Says:

    Thank you Father for sharing your insights on this story. For one moment ,I was in that barn too. God bless you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: