“My sheep hear my voice. I know them. They follow me.” John 10:27-30
4th Easter Sunday
Jesus tells us that he is the Good Shepherd because He knows the sheep. He calls them by name one by one. And the sheep hear and follow His voice.
This is true. In Israel sometimes for lack of grazing ground, several shepherds come together with their flocks in far grazing grounds. For the night, their sheep sleep altogether, and all mixed up. But the next morning when each shepherd calls his sheep the sheep go back to their original groups without anyone getting lost.
Today is Vocation Sunday when we ask God to send us good priests to shepherd His people.
Pope Francis says that the priest must know the smell of the sheep. He means that priests must walk with the people to know who they really are, what they truly need to be able to guide them. This is what synodality is all about.
This year 2022 all over the Catholic world the synod on synodality is on-going. Synod is a gathering of the priests with the lay to listen to what the Holy Spirit wants for the Church at present. For this year’s synod the theme is synodality – which comes from the Greek word for common road. Like Jesus walking with disciples from Emmaus, the church to be truly church must always walk with the people. Pope Francis hopes to rid the Church of three evils: elitism, intellectualism, and complacency. Sometimes the priests have excluded the lay from participation in the church’s mission. Some of the church’s solutions presented to solve world problems are out of touch with what is real. The church has been satisfied with has always been done without effort to seek out what is new.
Jesus calls Himself the Good shepherd because bad shepherds exist. Those who do not care for the sheep, killing them for their milk, wool, and meat; abandoning the stray and not seeking the lost; not pasturing them and not treating those injured. In truth we find these bad shepherds everywhere in church, government, and schools.
Tomorrow, we elect our government leaders. Hopefully each one of us select those whom we consider good to shepherd the Filipino people.