Misericordias Domini ☩ John 10:11-16, 27-30
Jesus says, “I Am the Good Shepherd.” And that means we are His sheep.
There is a relationship that Jesus He has created between Him and us; a relationship of
concern of compassion and of love, a relationship of a shepherd for his sheep. This
relationship was established when He made us to walk beside still waters of Holy
Baptism; there He restores our soul. He anoints our head with oil, our cup runs over.
There is nothing the Good Shepherd will not do to protect, defend, and provide for His
sheep. He even goes so far as to search out those who are not part of His sheep fold,
that they too can benefit from His bountiful goodness, walking beside the still waters.
The Good Shepherd’s whole purpose is to call, gather together, enlighten, sanctify and
keep us, His sheep, in His loving arms. Nothing else matters.
The Good Shepherd opens His hands to richly and daily provide for all sheep. He wants
to be in a relationship with all sheep. He wants all sheep to lie down in the green
pastures He has prepared for them. He wants them to hear His voice and follow Him.
The Good Shepherd speaks and we listen. We hear in His voice, the words of great
love, and we follow Him.
The Good Shepherd knows our name and He calls us by name; He has given us our
name, we belong to Him.
We know His name and we call upon it in every time of need, through prayer, praise
and the giving of thanks.
The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep. Jesus willing suffered and died for
His sheep, rather than His sheep suffering the same fate.
The Good Shepherd willingly suffered and died for His sheep, so that His sheep would
not be led astray and scattered; that His sheep would no longer be apart from His
We see the Good Shepherd’s great love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Jesus
suffered and died for us. He took the pain and the punishment we deserved so that we
would not have to.
The wolf, prowls around looking for whom he may devour, but he has no power over
us. The devil’s ravenous fangs no longer have any bite, they cannot hurt us. The old evil
foe’s wicked desires are defeated, they cannot draw blood. Because of Jesus the Good
Shepherd, we are victorious, we are not afraid. His right arm protects and guides us.
The Good Shepherd does not run away from us when the wolf comes prowling around.
He stays near to us, He is with us always, never leaving or forsaking us.
And no matter how many times we go astray and wander off, no matter how many
times we fall into sin, He seeks us out, that He can put us on His shoulders and carry us
to safety. He never stops searching.
As His sheep, we fear, love and trust in our Good Shepherd above all things. We are
not in want. His rod and HIs staff they comfort us. Nothing can snatch us out of His
Sin, death and hell are no more, now belongs to us forgiveness, life and eternal
The Good Shepherd is there to open His mouth and speak words of forgiveness to us.
We are at peace.
The Good Shepherd is there to open His hands and feed us with His very body and
blood, that we would be nourished and strengthened, that we can fight the good fight
of faith, that we can live before God in righteousness and purity all the days of our life,
that we can walk through the valley of the shadow of death, fearing no evil.
You shall have no other gods before Me, we do not keep this commandment. We do
not love God above all things. We do not fear, love and trust in God above all things.
We do not love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We commit idolatry. We have one
god whom we place over the one true God and that is ourselves. We are our own god,
our own shepherd.
We do not want the Good Shepherd to look after us. We don’t want Him looking over
our shoulder. We want to take care of ourselves, providing for ourselves, deciding
what is right and wrong for ourselves.
We run away. We jump out of the sheep pen. We jump over the gate, which is meant to
protect us, which we think is there to punish us. We want nothing to do with the flock
of sheep which the Good Shepherd has worked so hard to gather together.
We do not want to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd. We think He is holding
out on us, that there is something better, that the green grass is better in another
pasture. We do not want Him to search after us. We do not want Him to richly and
daily provide for us. We don’t think we are really that bad, at least compared to the
other sheep, and so we don’t think we need to repent and try to do better. We don’t
want His rod and staff to comfort us.
We don’t think about how evil and deceitful the devil is. We don’t think our sin is that
severe. We don’t believe hell to be real, not really. And if it is real, the Good Shepherd
won’t really send us there. We don’t want to be told no. We think everyone will get
into heaven, if we want it enough, even though our Good Shepherd says otherwise.
But, what if the Good Shepherd did not search you out? What if the devil devoured you
and drug you to hell and Jesus did not care?
What if the Good Shepherd wasn’t there to help? What if He let you live your life as you
please? What if He did not care about you and left you alone and naked and hungry
and hurting and dying?
What if the Good Shepherd did not speak to you or listen to your cry for help? What if
He did not care about you? What if the Good Shepherd did not lay down HIs life for the
Sheep and raise it up again, that we would have forgiveness, life and eternal salvation?
We expect the Good Shepherd to be there when we need Him, but what if He wasn’t?
What if He let us have our way, and forgot about us, and like the hired hand ran away
when the wolf showed up?
What if we were scattered and left to fend for ourselves against our enemies and in the
vale of tears?
What if? But thanks be to Jesus, our Good Shepherd, there is no “what if”. Our Good
Shepherd never leaves us or forsakes us. He does not run away and forget about us.
His whole purpose is for our very good and perfect forgiveness, life and salvation. He
does search us out and places us on His shoulders to bring us back and restore us to
our proper place in His sheep pen, to lie down in the green pasture, where we are
richly blessed. The life we live, because of Jesus’ love, we live in faith, never doubting
that our Good Shepherd is with us unto the end of the age, always wanting to be where
our Good Shepherd is, hearing His voice and receiving the good gifts from His
generous hands. The life we live, as sheep of the flock, seeks perfection, desiring to
grow in fear, love and trust toward the Good Shepherd. The life we live, grows in faith
and love toward the other sheep. The life we live, as sheep of the flock, never wants to
go astray, but desires to be near the Good Shepherd, receiving His gifts of grace,
mercy and peace. Amen.