Prophet Ezekiel and Isaiah prophesied the coming of Messiah with the beautiful image of the good shepherd.
“For thus says the Lord God; I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out…I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness…I will feed them with good pasture…I will seek the lost. I will bring back the strayed…I will bind up the injured… I will strengthen the weak…but the fat and the strong I will destroy…I will feed them with justice” (Ezek.34:11-16).
“See the Lord God comes with might…He will feed his flock like a shepherded; he will gather the lamps in his arms and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep” (Isa.40:10-11)
St. John in his gospel condenses the birth of Jesus in a sentence, “And the word became flesh and lived among us” (Jn1:14). Some Biblical commentators put it as God pitching his tent among us, as a shepherd pitches his tent near his sheep. The shepherd lives among the sheep. He shares the hardships, the risk and the dangers the sheep face.
One of the beautiful images of Jesus in the Gospel is that of Good shepherd. In Jesus, God became the good shepherd. He took on our mortal human flesh, shared our earthly lot, our suffering, and our death and became one like us in all things but sin. The image of Jesus as Good Shepherd, evokes in us a feeling of intimacy and security. It reassures us that God is interested, involved and in control of our lives.
In this advent time, we are reminded about God’s coming to us in Jesus. We are reminded about God’s seeking for us like the good shepherd who seeks his lost sheep. He is seeking us to rescue us from the darkness of sin. He comes to strengthen us in our weakness. He comes to cure us physically, emotionally and spiritually. He comes to show us the way to lead our life here on earth and to reach our eternal home. Let us welcome him by praying “Lord Come.”
About the Author:
Fr. Binoy Puthusery, C.M. is a Vincentian priest belonging to the Southern Indian Province. He was ordained as priest on December 27, 2008 and soon after served as an assistant parish priest in Tanzania. In 2011, after two years of ministry, he was appointed as Spiritual Director to the Vincentian Sisters of Mercy, Mbinga Tanzania, where he still is today.