READINGS:Â Â Â Â Acts 4: 8-12Â Â /Â Â Psalm 118: 1. 8-9. 21-23. 26. 28. 29Â Â /Â Â 1 John 3: 1-2
JOHN 10: 11-18
HIS WORDâ€¦I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AND I KNOW MINE AND MINE KNOW MEâ€¦ I HAVE OTHER SHEEP THAT DO NOT BELONG TO THIS FOLD… THESE ALSO I MUST LEAD, AND THEY WILL HEAR MY VOICE, AND THERE WILL BE ONE FLOCK, ONE SHEPHERDâ€¦Â
my wordsâ€¦Pastoral Responsibility and Ecumenism. John 10:16 contains ecumenical undertones and therefore it was a kind of â€œprophetic and predictive proclamationâ€ of John on what will happen to the Church through ages and histories; that is, withthe emergence or coming of other different cults, sects, denominations, and â€œreligionsâ€. And precisely, they are â€œthe other flocks that do not belong to the foldâ€ (Jn 10:16a), and still Jesus recognizes them as His sheep so that â€œthere will be one flock, one shepherdâ€ (Jn 10:16b) if they will all hear and listen to the voice of Jesus, the Chief Shepherd and Good Shepherd. How noble and heroic indeed is the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) when itincludes and incorporates the theme of â€œEcumenismâ€ in the 16 Documents of the Council. It is indeed a welcoming gesture with the spirit of reconciliation to the â€œother sheepâ€ that do not belong to the fold of the Catholic Church. To have one flock all over the world is the goal of Jesus Christ as the Chief and Good Shepherd for all in the world. And it indeed happened; we may have different religious groupings or affiliations or â€œreligionsâ€, but we acknowledge the same Jesus the Good Shepherd in the Bible, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
Brothers and Sisters, this is Pastoral Responsibility in the Church, and the pastors or priests should not be selective in knowing, leading, feeding, and protecting the flock entrusted to them. Their lives should be for the whole flock, young and old, rich and poor alike, and even including those in the other fold. That is why in the Catholic Church, the Pope, the Cardinals, the Archbishops, the Bishops, the Priests, and the Deacons belong to nobody nor to somebody but to everybody so that they can render service to anybody in need. They become servant-leaders to the flock they are tendingto and caring for. And Jesus called them to do so by giving them the par excellent model of shepherding; that is, â€œgiving His life for the sheepâ€ (Jn 10: 11. 15). And the pastoral responsibility therefore is to gather all the sheep wherever they are in the world and bring them to Jesus, the Good Shepherd, so that â€œthere will be one flock, one shepherdâ€ (Jn 10:16) in the whole world.
Brothers and Sisters, today is â€œWorld Day of Prayer for Vocationsâ€. Our Mother Church asks us to pray for more shepherds to lead the flock to Jesus, the Chief Good Shepherd, so that they may have life in Him. We pray also for our shepherds of today, that they may not only be ordinary shepherds to their flock but â€œgood shepherdsâ€ modelled after the Risen Lord who declared: â€œI am the Good Shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheepâ€ (Jn 10:11).
MAY GOD BLESS OUR SHEPHERDS TO BECOME GOODâ€¦