This past Sunday’s Gospel from John was part of Jesus’ “Good Shepherd” discourse. You can re-read it at John 10:1-10.
This is one of those Gospels that I have heard so much during my life that I risk not really listening to it. That is why I find it helpful to reread it.
About sheep: Sheep have names! And they recognize them! And sheep recognize the voice of one they trust and are willing to walk behind him. The shepherd doesn’t have to keep an eye on them from behind. Sheep are more trusting and smarter than I thought.
About shepherds: They recognize individual sheep by name! They trust sheep to stay behind them and follow them to pasture. And around the time of Christ, it was the children in the family, boys and girls, who took care of the sheep as soon as they were able. The adult men and women had other duties.
About us: we follow a Shepherd who knows our name, whose voice we can recognize, and who trusts us to walk behind him.
About our Shepherd: He is always ahead of us no matter where life takes us. And he is the gate to the sheepfold. We don’t go anywhere without going through him. We can trust him.
We are blessed sheep!