Today's Gospel: John 10:1-10 - 4th Sunday of Easter
I have read these words out loud, dozens and dozens of times. I am a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd catechist -- specifically, a Level I catechist, for ages 3 to 6. The Good Shepherd readings are the centerpiece of the entire three years in a Level I atrium (classroom).
It’s not hard to see why. The image of the Good Shepherd speaks to a deep need in little children: a need for shelter and care. The Good Shepherd is someone who watches over, protects, calls and carries us. He is someone whose voice we know intimately, as a newborn infant knows her mother’s voice.
In an atrium, catechists contemplate Scripture passages with the children, using hands-on materials as an aid to understanding and engagement. Young minds are very concrete, but also capable of grasping essential truths about the world. The child holds the Good Shepherd figurine in her hands, listening to the words of John, and the story sinks into her soul.
Through repetition, and through that uniquely innocent openness to grace possessed by children, she realizes gradually that Jesus is the Shepherd, that we are the sheep.
She learns that the story is true.
Along the way to adulthood, though, it’s easy to lose sight of that truth. We lose the knowledge of that voice. We lose the certainty that the Shepherd will watch over, protect, call and carry us.
But the story is still true, now and always, for the child and for you. Jesus spoke in parables because they distilled truth down to terms even a child could understand. It is exactly as simple now as it was when He spoke.
He loves you. He is calling you to follow Him. He will protect you from the thieves and the robbers, if you remain close to Him.
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What is getting in the way of you recognizing the voice of the Shepherd clearly?
Dear Jesus, let me follow Your voice with the trust of a child, with the trust of a sheep for her shepherd.
Copyright 2020 Christy Wilkens
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About the Author
Christy Wilkens is a full-time mother and part-time armchair philosopher who lives in Austin, TX, but wishes she lived in Lourdes. She is a wife and mom to six kids, all of whom are special (but some are specialer than others). She writes about special needs, faith, doubt, suffering, and good reads. Find out more about her at FaithfulNotSuccessful.com.