Good shepherds under the Good Shepherd

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4th Sunday of Easter, Year A: May 14-15, 2011
Acts 2:14, 36-41; Ps 23; 1 Pet 2:20-25; John 10:1-10

In the pages of the Old Testament, leading up to Jesus, we often find shepherds and sheep spoken of. Sometimes these are literal shepherds taking care of literal sheep—a common enough experience in the Holy Land! But other times it is a figure of speech, where the flock is the People of Israel; and the shepherds are those who care for them.

Leaders like Joshua, the judges, King David, and later kings are either called shepherds or else described in a way that compares them to what shepherds do. And the place where we find this imagery most developed is in the prophets: when the Lord is denouncing the failure of those leaders to shepherd his People. (more…)