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SHEPHERDSHIP AS RESPONSIBILITY

Read­ing Time: 3 minutes

Introduction

Accord­ing to the litur­gic­al arrange­ment of the Cath­ol­ic Church, Sunday read­ings for Cycle C are nor­mally taken from the Gos­pel accord­ing to Luke. How­ever, the Gos­pel read­ings for the Paschal sea­son are taken from the Gos­pel accord­ing to John. Why? Prob­ably, John has a bet­ter doc­u­ment­a­tion of the post-resur­rec­tion account.  This Sunday Gos­pel is one of the post-Resur­rec­tion appear­ances repor­ted by John. In the Gos­pel accord­ing to John, we read that the first to wit­ness the appear­ance of Jesus is Mary of Mag­dala, fol­lowed by the dis­ciples and finally, to Thomas and the oth­er dis­ciples again. After these post-resur­rec­tion appear­ances, the Fourth Gos­pel con­cludes with the fol­low­ing words “Jesus did many oth­er signs in the pres­ence of his dis­ciples, which are not writ­ten in this book. But these are writ­ten so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Mes­si­ah, the Son of God, and that through believ­ing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30–31). With these words, one would have expec­ted that the Gos­pel con­cludes here. But instead of con­clud­ing, there fol­lows anoth­er chapter. Why? The con­sequence is that many schol­ars are of the opin­ion that the entire John chapter 21 is an addi­tion by unknown author to the ori­gin­al text of John. Why then is this Sunday Gos­pel read­ing from this addi­tion? The Church reflects on this read­ing and in fact, on the entire chapter for its rich theo­lo­gic­al and pas­tor­al contents.

Shepherding as responsibility

When finally, Peter declared his read­i­ness to bear wit­ness to Gos­pel, Jesus asked him to tend/feed his flock (cf. John 21:17). Jesus feed­ing the dis­ciples with fish is an allu­sion to the Holy Euchar­ist. As fed them, so should Peter and oth­er shep­herds feed the flock entrus­ted unto them. by feed­ing is inten­ded spir­itu­al and mater­i­al but espe­cially, spir­itu­al. Feed­ing the people mater­i­ally while we feed them with wrong and per­son­al teach­ings and doc­trines is wicked­ness and spir­itu­al fraud. Shep­herd­ing is great respons­ib­il­ity. And who­ever is not ready for such respons­ib­il­ity should make it known. This is why Jesus wanted Peter to declare his read­i­ness to assume the respons­ib­il­ity of shep­herd­ing the flock of God. 

Conclusion

As Peter, any­body who pro­fesses to be a Chris­ti­an is called to fully and con­cretely rein­force his/her decision to be a dis­ciple of Jesus and con­sequently, of the Gos­pel. Ima­gine Jesus ask­ing you this moment: Do you love me more than everything and every oth­er per­son? What is your answer? Jesus com­mands Peter to feed his sheep. The implic­a­tion is that the sheep are dying and the shep­herd in some sense must be held respons­ible. Feed my sheep-tend my sheep-feed my sheep is a lead­ers’ manu­al on how to trans­form uto­pi­an lead­ers to ser­vant lead­ers. It is a call to ser­vice. By inter­rog­at­ing Peter three times, Jesus wanted him to be con­vinced and com­mit­ted in his voca­tion and in his faith. We also must be con­vinced and com­mit­ted in our vari­ous voca­tions and assign­ments. After deny­ing Jesus and his faith, Jesus offered Peter the oppor­tun­ity to reverse his error. In like man­ner, we too deny God and we deny our faith and God offers us the oppor­tun­ity to cor­rect our mis­take and reaf­firm our com­mit­ment, con­vic­tion and belief. Every Chris­ti­an has some sheep to feed. How do you feed yours? God bless you and happy Sunday. Sha­lom!                   

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE:
SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I‑II-III)!! The reflec­tion for the Third Sunday of Pascha © is found in
vol. III pages 228–239. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo
or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com
or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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