"You are not among my sheep." John 10:26
Alleluia! Throughout this glorious Eastertide, our Mother the Church reminds us over and over again in her liturgies, both at daily Mass and in the daily Divine Office, that "The Good Shepherd has risen, who laid down his life for his sheep and willingly died for his flock, alleluia". Most of these reminders are comforting and reassuring. However, for me at least, the above verse from the Gospel at today's Novus Ordo Mass (John 10:22-30) begs the question:
Whose sheep am I?
Is Jesus really my Good Shepherd?
Do I truly belong to His sheepfold or am I still a card-carrying member of the sheepfold of the unholy trinity known as "Me, Myself and I"?
Do I wisely heed the voice of my Good Shepherd or do I carelessly listen to the false prophets of my own choosing?
Do I avidly pursue His truth or do I proudly persist in my unbelief?
Do I faithfully follow Him wherever He leads me or do I childishly run after whatever my heart fancies moment by moment?
Do I confidently cast all my cares upon my Good Shepherd, trusting Him to lead me to His green pastures and still waters, or do I fearfully imagine that He doesn't care about me nor those I love nor the whole wide world and all the people He has created?
Do I joyfully feast at the magnificent table He prepares for me anew each day or do I mindlessly stuff my soul with junk food?
Do I eagerly allow Him to anoint me with the precious oil of His mercy and joy or do I sadly wallow in the muck of my self-chosen misery?
Do I freely show Him my brokenness and gladly let Him bind up my wounds, or do I stubbornly pretend that I am just fine and don't need His help?
Do I peacefully abide In Jesus, making my home in Him, or do I foolishly dwell in lesser, lower places?
Surely His goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life if I follow Him who is my Good Shepherd. But do I? Will I?
Whose sheep am I?
Whose sheep do I choose to be?
O my Jesus,
my dear and only Good Shepherd,
with the help of Your amazing grace
I will always be Your sheep --
yes, Your little lamb! --
now and forever,
in time and in eternity.