“My sheep hear my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (Jn 10). The people who heard Jesus call himself ”The Good Shepherd” had many would-be leaders. Some, like the Romans, merely asserted control. People like Herod exploited the people to maintain his personal luxury. The religious leaders were more interested in their own prestige than in the needs of the people. It was in this setting that Jesus called himself “The Good Shepherd.”
He said, “The Good Shepherd knows his own.” Jesus meant much more than merely recognizing his own. He knows us as a friend and lover knows us. It is a knowledge of the heart. A friend and lover feels what we feel and suffers what we suffer. We may see Jesus as a teacher and master and miss the intimate quality of his love for each of us. For many people that seems safer. Intimate love can be dangerous. It cost Jesus his life.
Shepherd me, Lord, through this day and every day. I know you because you have shown me your love. With your grace I shall follow only you and those who truly lead in your name.