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A Reflection on Good Shepherd Sunday

First reading: Acts 13: 14, 43-52

Second Reading: Revelation 7:9,14-17

Gospel: John 10:27-30

The feast of the Dedication was then taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter. And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”



In this Gospel reading, Jesus is confronted by the Jews, who want to know if he is the Messiah. Jesus replies sharply that he has already told them, but they do not believe him because they are not his sheep. We, his sheep, know our Shepherd: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

So how do we know him, and not just know of him? This knowledge of Jesus that we speak of is not so much academic knowledge or intellectual thinking. To know Jesus is to receive him, and have him live in our souls. St Paul speaks of this beautifully when he writes in his letter to the Galatians, “It is not I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20)

St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort writes about Jesus as Wisdom (LEW 13). He tells us that “nothing is more consoling than to know divine Wisdom. Happy are those who listen to him; happier still are those who desire him and seek him; but happiest of all are those who keep his laws. Their hearts will be filled with that infinite consolation which is the joy and happiness of the eternal Father and the glory of the angels.” (LEW 10)

Montfort describes the means to attain Eternal Wisdom: an ardent desire, continuous prayer and universal mortification; and each with its own challenges. But Montfort encourages the greatest means of all, and the most wonderful of all secrets for obtaining and preserving divine Wisdom: a loving and genuine devotion to the Blessed Virgin (LEW 203).

A genuine devotion to Mary, Mother of God, through a total consecration to Jesus through her is the smoothest, shortest, most perfect and surest way to Jesus (TD 152). It begins with Knowledge of Self and renunciation of the world, Knowledge of Mary, who naturally leads us to her son, Knowledge of Jesus. Through this, we learn to go deeper than the external practices and observances that lead us to Mary, to cultivating the internal practices of doing everything through Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary, but only in order to do all things more perfectly through Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus and for Jesus (TD 257).

Brian Ooi, Montfortian Gabrielite Associates


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