Prayer: O Jesus, You laid down your life for me.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching in the Temple)
Context: Jesus’ care for his sheep knows no limits. Besides enduring the rigors of sleeping outside, He is willing to die to protect his sheep. The “hired man” would reject this responsibility and flee.
Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. When the hired man, who is not a shepherd and who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away. Then, the wolf catches and scatters the sheep. The hired man flees because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd. I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. I will lay down my life for my sheep.
Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Jesus takes his care to the highest level. He is ready to give his life for the sheep.
- Hired hands fail this test. They have no desire to give their lives.
- Abandoned by the hired hand, the sheep are scattered and killed by the wolf
- Jesus explains why he is willing to die. He knows the sheep, just as he knows the Father and the Father knows him.
- The sheep are part of the mystery of the Trinity. They are valuable to Jesus. That is why he dies for them.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, now I understand your love.
- You love me because you love the Father.
- You do for me what you would do for your Father.
- You expect no pay. You seek no reward. Your love is the mystery of the Trinity.
- No one else is like you. No one else makes such a sacrifice.
- I choose you as my Shepherd.
- Without you, the wolves of life would devour me.
- O Jesus, why should I not lay down my life for you when you have died for me?
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will ponder this great mystery. Jesus loves me because he loves the Father.
- I will return his love. I will offer my life to Jesus.
Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.