Sunday, April 6, 2008


meh! meh! meh!

A friend of mine commented: "Why do you like to meh so much? Is it because God is your Shepherd, and you are His sheep?"

I have never thought of that!

As Catholics, we are the sheep and lambs in His fold. We ourselves are called to give all our heart, mind and soul - to offer our entire being - to our Lord God, Who sent His Only-Begotten Son, the Lamb of God, to be sacrificed for our sake on the Tree of the Cross.

Being the Second Sunday after Easter, or more commonly known as Good Shepherd Sunday, after the theme of the Epistle and Gospel of the Holy Mass celebrated today, Holy Mother Church reminds her children of the importance of true ecumenism - the calling of all men into the Catholic Church, in the flock of our Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, is His current Vicar on earth.

The shepherd stave, or crosier, borne by the Good Shepherd in the image above, is similar to the ones carried by prelates of the Church. From the Catholic Encyclopedia, the learned Durandus and Barbosa tell us of the significance of these ecclesiastical ornaments conferred on bishops during their consecration:

(They) signify their authority to correct vices, stimulate piety, administer punishment, and thus rule and govern with a gentleness that is tempered with severity. (...) As the rod of Moses was the seal and emblem of his Divine commission as well as the instrument of the miracles he wrought, so is the episcopal staff the symbol of that doctrinal and disciplinary power of bishops in virtue of which they may sustain the weak and faltering, confirm the wavering in faith, and lead back the erring ones into the true fold. (...) The end is sharp and pointed wherewith to prick and goad the slothful, the middle is straight to signify righteous rule, while the head is bent or crooked in order to draw in and attract souls to the ways of God.

Throughout the history of Christianity, holy images or statues of Our Lord as the Good Shepherd can be found in many hallowed grounds, from dark catacombs to glorious Gothic cathedrals. It is indeed one of the most well-loved titles of our Blessed Lord.

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