Sheep are timid, gentle animals that live in flocks and depend on people for protection. A good shepherd knows each of his sheep. When he calls, they follow because they know his voice and trust him. A good shepherd is even willing to die so the sheep might live.

In loving obedience to his Father, Jesus’ sufferings, death and Resurrection have gained heaven and eternal life for us. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who loves us, cares for all our needs and watches over us. He knows each of us by name, knows all about us and never abandons us. He calls us to follow him.

Jesus is always with us to protect and show us the way. Does this mean we’ll never have bad things happen to us – that we’ll never be hurt, frightened or in pain? No.

The bad things may happen, and the hurtful, frightening and painful things may still come to us but, like sheep safe in the shepherd’s care, nothing can take us out of the hands of Jesus, our Good Shepherd. Read Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”