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+330+ The Good Shepherd feeds his Sheep (1st Communion)

Fr. Joel Homilies 3 Comments

Easter, 4th Sunday. Our parents fed us, first milk, then solid food, now the best food of all: the Eucharist. The Eucharist is when Jesus, the good Shepherd, feeds His sheep. This Shepherd became a sheep, the Lamb of God, and then died for His sheep. When we were baptized we were clothed in white and became God’s sheep. Now the sheep come forward to eat from their Shepherd’s hand. (21 Apr 2013)

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    On another forum someone made the point that shepherds will break the legs of sheep that wander off. That seemed more like cruelty to me, but the proposer of the point felt that was part of being a “good” shepherd. Is that the kind of Good Shepherd God is?

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      Laura,
      I’ve heard that same comment. Some then say the shepherd would then carry the sheep so they got to know the shepherd’s voice. That is contrary to everything I know about raising animals, and I think it’s highly unlikely to be true. Discipline is always directed towards correcting rather than injuring. The only reference I have seen so far is this one:

      Roy Gustafson, who has led many parties to Israel, tells in his book “In His hand” (p.46) that on one of his visits, on the road down from Jerusalem through the Judean wilderness to Jericho, they met a shepherd carrying one of his sheep with a splint and a bandage on its leg.

      Said their guide, who’d lived nearly fifty years in that area, “The shepherd broke that sheep’s leg himself.”

      And it was true! It was explained that this was a sheep that was always wandering off, and in the process leading other sheep astray. Membership in the flock carries certain responsibilities, and much as the shepherd feels a real affection for his animals, discipline is the only thing that will keep them together, as they must be kept together for their well-being and their safety.

      So to cure this sheep of its self-willed ways, the shepherd had broken its leg, and then hand fed and carried it till the bone was mended … and (hopefully) its waywardness.

      There is a book called “In his Land” but I haven’t read it. That’s the only possible source that I have found to this myth.

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    Not sure if I would have spoke about where milk comes from or the angel of death or sacrificing a sheep to protect themselves. These are still children and this sermon is specific to children. I would have said, “Who fed you as a baby? and not mention the angel of death plague at all. And even the Shepherd story deviates from what really happens with the Father and the Son. It was a huge stretch and does not properly teach Scripture. It’s disappointing as even though the Resurrection occurs, the Wolf is not destroyed like this “shepherd” is saying. The Wolf is still available and working on the sheep to mislead them, especially today.

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