Hey, Sheep! Do I know you?

Today, our Holy Church honors the humble shepherds, the first to gaze upon Jesus and carry the message of His coming to others.

And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.

Shepherds had three key responsibilities, to tend, feed, and guard the sheep. To that end they carried quite the kit. They kept a bag made from goat skin in which they carried food and other items. They kept a sling to fight off wild animals, a rod with a knob on one end, a staff with a hook on the end, a flute for entertainment and to calm the sheep, and a cloak for warmth and to be used as bedding at night.

The most amazing relationship developed between the shepherds and their sheep, the sheep would learn to recognize and follow their shepherd’s voice.

God has used the image of the shepherd since the creation of the world. Abel, the son of Adam and Eve, was a shepherd. When Israel blessed Joseph he recalled that God had been his shepherd throughout his life.

Jesus is our Good Shepherd, and He does all those things that shepherds do. He feeds us with His body and blood. He tends to us, healing and renewing us. He guards us and protects us so that we will never die.

The key for us is that we grow in relationship with Jesus. We need to recognize His voice. That comes from reading His word, talking with Him in prayer, following His way. Doing that, we will recognize His call, His voice.

Do we know the voice of our Good Shepherd? When we hear His voice, let us all respond with “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” I will follow your way.