Brothers, as Jesus declares: “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the
sheep” (Jn 10:11), St. Gregory, says that word “good” indicates willingness to die. When the wolf comes,
protect at all costs, even if you must lay down your life. God be with you!
In the Gospel of John 10:11-18, used for the 4th Sunday in Easter, Jesus speaks of Himself as the Good
Shepherd. There are important lessons 4 men here, especially regarding whether one is a Christian for
God’s sake, or for himself.
Jesus declares something vital about Himself when He says: “I am the good shepherd; the good
shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the
owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them
and scatters the flock. He flees because he is a hired hand and does not care about the sheep” (vv. 11-13,
NASB). According to St. Gregory, by adding that word “good” Our Lord indicates that willingness to die
for the sheep.
Readiness to lay down one’s life is necessary not only to speak of oneself as a “good” Christian, but also
to speak of oneself as a “good” man. There exists something within each man that knows he must be
ready to die for family, for Church, and for country. I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Martin
L. King, Jr.: “If a man is not willing to die for something, he is not fit to live.”
For men who step out to face danger and risk their lives, the fear of serious injury or death is usually
present. But the question remains: is the man “good” enough to move past his fears to do what is
required? Sadly, I find this lacking among many men in leadership today.
Today many are quite fearful of taking a stand. Fearful of risking their lives, their wealth, their well-being.
Such a man who avoids stepping up is not a leader, nor a “good shepherd”. “He flees [as Jesus says]
because he is a hired hand and does not care about the sheep” (v.13). This man works just for pay. He
concerns himself about what he gains. He is interested in being a Christian only to benefit himself, and
not for the sake of God and the concerns of others.
Brothers, take care not to be the hired hand. Be the “good” Christian. Be the “good shepherd”, willing to
lay down your life.
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