Holy Gospel according to Saint John 10, 1-10
‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
1) Enter through the gate. The shepherd is polite, does not invade or attack. As a shepherd you must always respect others and not impose yourself on them. Entering through the gate means that the pastor should be warm and friendly with his people, creating a familiarity that allows a close relationship. It is your task as pastor of your family, just as much as it is my task as a priest. We cannot be thieves; we cannot steal anyone’s life and hope.
2) Call his own by name. This refers to the great relationship you have with God and God with you. Always strive to have that intimate relationship with God. A good shepherd must know his own, know their particularities and give them their time. Each person should feel accompanied and guided, not ignored and disregarded.
3) He goes ahead. We must strive to have the capacity for leadership, to know how to face life with all that it brings, to face the situations we come up against day to day. We should have the capacity of not being afraid to lead, knowing that the strength comes from the great Shepherd. Today, you are called upon to be a shepherd, in your life and with your attitudes. Beware of the wolf because he can steal many souls. Let us take care of them and shepherd them so that we may all be in heaven together.
May God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Always remember that Heaven is our goal.