Saturday 28th March – Saturday of the 5th week of Lent
Reflection: Jeremiah 31: 10-13
STAY WITH THE FOLD
The image of the shepherd and sheep is used countless times in Scripture to illustrate God’s relationship with His people. The nation of Israel was a farming community and keeping sheep was very common amongst them hence they fully understood this image. They understood how much a good shepherd loved and cared for his sheep; ready to risk his own life in fighting wild animals so as to keep the sheep safe. Yet, they became powerless in fending for the sheep if it stubbornly left the fold and all efforts to find it was futile. When this happens, the stray sheep becomes at the mercy of wild beasts with no one to fight for it.
In today’s first reading, God promises that He would guard his people as a shepherd guards his flock (Jer 31:10). He promises restoration to Israel which had been scattered and divided by sin. Dear friend, Christ assures us: “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:10). He has indeed laid down His life for us.
But just as with the sheep, we can only experience the protection our shepherd offers when we stay within the fold. Each time we stray, God, our good shepherd seeks us out. Yet, we can decide to stubbornly refuse His call to come home and choose to remain outside His protection and power. We can willingly put ourselves into the hands of the devil, who constantly seeks whom to devour (1 Pet 5:8). Many Christians have abandoned the fold in quest for fame, power, pleasure, riches, worldly success etc. What choice do you make dear friend? Choose to stay with the fold; choose to remain under the protection of God our Father; He will meet your needs and your safety is sure.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you that I can trust in your powerful protection and care. Please help me not to stray away from you. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 22 – How does one go about believing?
Someone who believes is seeking a personal union with God and is ready to believe God in everything that he shows (reveals) about himself.
HIDE A TREASURE: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” Psalm 23:2 RSV-CE
Today’s Readings: Ezekiel 37: 21-28; Jeremiah 31: 10-13 (Canticle); John 11: 45-56