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Good Shepherd Sunday


Good Shepherd Sunday's Gospel Reading is from John 10 1-10. It is the Parable of the
Sheepfold. It is a strange sort of parable because in the parable Jesus is the 'shepherd of the
ock', is the 'gate of the sheepfold', but for some stranger reason he is not the 'gatekeeper'.

Anyway the important part of the message is that only the 'shepherd of the ock' enters by the
'gate'. Anyone who does not enter by the 'gate' is 'a thief and a brigand'. Jesus said - "The thief
comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the
full", which simply means 'eternal life'.

The 'gate' is one where only the 'spirit' can go in. Imagine the metaphorical 'eye of the needle'
where a 'camel' can go in? Well, if that 'camel' were to be like the resurrected Jesus, it can!
Hence the need for us to be baptised by the Holy Spirit in order to get to heaven!

Normally, when we think of the Good Shepherd we think of Psalm 22. We remember the
catchphrases like 'The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the
pastures where he gives me repose.'; 'If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort.' and my favourite -
'Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life.'

I like the last catchphrase because it is so earthly and worldly to our worldly existence as distinct
from the eternal existence that we yearn for. We will come to the quest for eternal life later. But
now, let me emphasise on the need for 'goodness and kindness' or in short-form 'loving-kindness'.
We should practise and show loving-kindness to all like the Good Samaritan did, for the rest or
remaining days of our life, no matter how malevolent we have been in the past. That is how we
remain good friends to all, old and new.

We are often taught that Jesus is our Good Shepherd. But Jesus has been and gone! He died on
the Cross and was resurrected. He is now Jesus the Christ. He is Jesus Christ! God is Spirit!
Last week I explained how when the resurrected Jesus, as the Christ came back, he could not be
recognised on the Road to Emmaus, until the two disciples shared bread or was 'in spiritual
communion' with him in the Holy Spirit. Do not misconceive and think that our worldly physical
body will be resurrected when we die and if we deserve a place in eternal heaven! The body of the
resurrected Jesus is not like that. Neither will our resurrected body! The resurrected Jesus could
vanish in a ash! He could come and go as he wished! He could go through solid walls! That is
what a resurrected body is like, it can come and go, and walk through walls!

When we seek spiritual comfort and strength and faith in the Good Shepherd , we therefore seek
him in the Holy Spirit that is Chris, the resurrected Jesus. God is Spirit! To see the 'Holy Spirit' we
have to see God in everything and see everything in God. We ave to see God in every poor sick
and needy, whatever their race colour or creed. What I am leading to and this is the most
important point, we can never ever see the historical Jesus in person! He is now Jesus the Christ!
That is why we should treasure good friends, the friends who 'lead' and 'guide' us to 'eternal life'.
For they incarnate the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives! Remember! Christ walks through
walls! He walks right through the walls of humanity as well!

Love and God Bless!

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