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When I think of sheep, I think of them as adorable fluffy animals. They always look so pure and perfect for snuggling. But they’re also and fragile, and they need to be watched and cared for. Because sheep are so precious, they need to be protected. This is how Jesus views us. We’re His flock of sheep that He guards and keeps safe.
On Good Shepherd Sunday, I’m reminded of Jesus’ gentle love for us. I think of images of Him holding sheep with tender loving care. On one hand, I like to contemplate these sentimental images, but on the other hand, they seem watered down. The cutesy pictures of Jesus snuggling lambs don’t do Him justice as the Good Shepherd.
More than simply the fact that Jesus loves me, Good Shepherd Sunday reminds me of the depth of Jesus’ love for me. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus explains the lengths that He goes to to protect us and find us when we’re lost. Unlike a hired shepherd who flees when his sheep are in danger, Jesus says that He will lay down His life for His sheep, and He did on the cross.
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While sheep are adorable and fluffy, Jesus thinks of us as His sheep because we’re precious to Him. He doesn’t make any profit or gain anything from keeping us safe. He does these things for us out of His infinite love for us. As our Good Shepherd, Jesus constantly protects us from evil and leads us closer and closer to the Father.
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