Sacerdos in Aeternum (a priest forever) | Fr. Rommel M. Arcilla:

The Good Shepherd

(Note: this writer decided to give his reflections based on the following Sunday Gospel (after the publication), hoping that it will help the readers to reflect on the Gospel before they go to attend the Sunday Eucharistic Celebration.)


“The sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”


One thing that is obvious in this statement is that there is a deep relationship that has been established between the shepherd and the sheep. The sheep hear and recognize the voice of the shepherd and they follow him as he leads them out. It can be said that the shepherd won the trust and confidence of the sheep because of his genuine love and care for them. To know each of them by name is not a common thing for an ordinary shepherd.


The Good Shepherd knows each sheep by name and the sheep heeds his voice. He is ready to lay down His life for His sheep because of this deep union of love that binds them together. They belong to one inclusion, and they live in utter joy and serenity because they are like real brothers and sisters.


If we try to look around us, the picture of our world today is no longer like the story of the sheep and the Good Shepherd. It is the exact opposite of it because, nowadays, tyranny, self-centeredness, immorality, greediness in terms of power and riches, harassments of all kinds, killings, and all forms of inhuman treatment reign as never before. These evil things are now becoming or had become the trademark of a person in this generation. If you are clinging to the so-called Christian ideals, or even just being righteous, makes you an outcast in this torn and crazy society that we have now. In order for one person to be accepted in the society today, with the present norms that they have, you must know and be willing to trample upon the rights of your brothers and sisters and make their lives as miserable as it can be, you must also learn to embrace the culture of death offered by those who support abortion, euthanasia and drug-addiction. And in the lightest sense, you must accept the lunatic morality that is being made popular by those who are comfortable with illicit sex and immoral acts.


This is what we are today, and this is the exact opposite of what we are being called for as members of the sheepfold. Those kindergarten principles taught to us when we were still innocent to all forms of evil are now lost in space. If we only learned and lived our lives by the kindergarten principles, I am sure that our world would be so much different and so much unlike this stinking world that we are in.


I have been to so many places and I have seen so many events and happenings in man’s life. Some of them are good and some are bad. In every event that takes place in man’s life, he is always given a choice, and this is a very fundamental choice. He must always choose between the good and the bad, between God and Satan, between charity and the culture of death. I wonder how many of us would remain to always choose the good, even if that good is no longer popular nowadays. I wonder how many of us would opt to choose the bad even if it means the eternal damnation of our souls, which will continue to live in eternity long after our mortal bodies are back to being dust. The choice is always ours and the decision that we will have to make will define the future of our whole being, because it is a choice between good and evil.


The message of the Good Shepherd is just a reminder for all of us that those who heed the voice of the Good Shepherd are taken-cared of because, the Good Shepherd, who is Christ Jesus, knows each one of them by name and had given up His very life for their salvation. Those who hear His voice and heed His call will eventually be led to a safer place and away from the wolves and other predators in this world. And Jesus, being the Good Shepherd, is calling each one of us today to be good shepherds also to our brothers and sisters especially those who are being attacked by the ruthless evils in this world disguised in riches, power, and fame.


Let us listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd for He will never allow us to wander away from the road that will lead us to the sheepfold.

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