The Parable of the Shepherd

Sunday Gospel Reflection
4th Sunday of Easter
John 10:27-30 | May 8, 2022

The Parable of the Shepherd
Josie Gonzales

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me…I give them eternal life, and they shall never die…My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than everything, and no one can snatch them away from the Father’s care…The Father and I are one.”

Jesus said, “No one shall be lost for that is the will of the Father.”

Para patotohanan ito, iniwan muna ni Hesus ang 99 na tupa at hinanap ang nawalay na isa. Ganyan ang ating Panginoon—walang maiiwan.

Ang kwento ng ‘The Prodigal Son’ ay kwento rin ng anak na nakalimot pero nagsisi at bumalik sa Ama…

Ang Diyos Anak na ating tagapagligtas sa mga kasalanan ay ating Dakilang Pastol—ang Mabuting Pastol, not only to a few, but to the whole of humanity.

Many times, we fail the Lord, we fall into sin, we repent then sin again, but the Almighty is a forgiving God, never rejects, instead, eats with the sinners as He did with the tax collector Matthew. Jesus, the Divine Healer, does not need to heal the healthy; He needs to be among the sick, the desperate, the lonely, the poor, the homeless so they may feel his perfect love. He has to be with the weak to strengthen them, with the desperate and lonely to uplift them, with the hopeless to give them hope. Ito ang utos ng Diyos Ama sa kanyang Bugtong na Anak para manumbalik ang ligaw na tupa sa kanyang kaharian…

Sa mundong ginagalawan natin, maraming ‘ligaw na tupa’. The ‘lost ones’ are everywhere—in the streets of both rich and poor alike, in prison cells, in drug dens, among public servants and supposed leaders of the nation. Why is this so? Why do we find ‘lost sheep’ among our leaders? How can we follow the Lord in shepherding our people if we ourselves are lost? Let’s take a moment and pause.

I was watching a TV program earlier this week and it had Baron Geisler, a brilliant movie actor, as its guest. Baron was addicted to alcohol for many years and underwent several rehabs. The ‘lost one’ Baron now sings a different tune. He says he has been sober and alcohol-free for the past 3 years and helps others cope with their own addiction. Kaya natin bumangon kung gugustuhin. All of us have our own ‘lost’ moments, but the Lord assures us of His presence 24/7.

Tayo ba ay kasama sa mga ‘ligaw na tupa’? Dumating ba sa buhay natin na nawalay tayo sa Panginoon? At the height of the critical COVID 19 pandemic these past 2 years, where were we? Did we suffer the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of financial capabilities and, instead of picking up, blamed the Lord for our miserable state? Or sumunod ba tayo sa Panginoon sa pag papastol by being among the frontliners helping the sick, the wounded in spirit, giving food to the needy, doing spiritual acts of mercy?

‘Ligaw na tupa’ ba tayo or nananalig sa Diyos, sumama sa Kanya sa Kalbaryo, hindi bumitiw sa Pangakong eternal life with Him in His paradise? San tayo? Pagnilayan natin ito.

As always, I have my own stories to tell of woundedness, of being broken, not once, not twice but as far back as testing my endurance to suffering for and faithfulness to the Lord is concerned. Was I ever lost? Yes, but I always bounced back with this constant prayer: “Lord, patawarin mo ako sa lahat ng aking kasalanan. Bigyan mo ako ng lakas sa araw araw para makayanan ko ang mga pinagdadaanan kong hirap…Tulungan mo ako Lord. I trust in You, and I love You.”

The Lord promised us, the tired and heavily burdened, that “He will give us rest.”

Today, I am wounded again with a ‘lost one’ in my life. But the Almighty God will find this ‘lost one’ and bring back to His fold, and the ‘lost one’ will be reconciled with Him. The Lord assures me He was always with me from the beginning, talking with me through my wonderful guardian angels, ‘angel sa lupa’ as I always say, my priest confidante/counsellor/friend, my devotional readings that tell me a lot and help me to just keep going.

Know what? I am doing this sharing as I finish my reflection in the bathroom so that I do not disturb my daughter who is still asleep. Many things happen in the bathroom. Believe me.

A blessed Sunday and to all mothers: Happy Mother’s Day!

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