Pope Francis spoke of the qualities of the Jesus, the True Shepherd of the People of God, in his remarks May 12, 2019, before praying the midday Regina Coeli with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. And he reminded those listening that Jesus is attentive to each one.
The Holy Father cited the gospel of the day – Good Shepherd Sunday – from the 10th chapter of John:
“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.”
“Jesus appears as the True Shepherd of the People of God. He speaks about the relationship that binds Him to the sheep of the flock, namely, to His disciples, and He insists on the fact that it’s a relationship of mutual knowledge,” Pope Francis explained. ” we see that Jesus’ work is explained in some actions: Jesus speaks, Jesus knows, Jesus gives eternal life, Jesus guards.
“Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is attentive to each one of us; He seeks us and loves us, giving us His word, knowing our hearts in depth, our desires, and our hopes, as well as our failures and our disappointments. He receives and loves us as we are, with our good points and our bad points.”
The Pope continued by reminding the crowd of what Jesus gives: “eternal life” and the “possibility of living a full life, without end. Moreover, He guards us and guides us with love, helping us to go on impervious paths and at times risky roads that appear in the path of life.”
Pope Francis also noted that the verbs Jesus uses in relating to His people are much like those a shepherd uses with his sheep: “hear my voice, follow Me.”
“Let’s not forget that Jesus is the only Shepherd who speaks to us, who knows us, who gives us eternal life and guards us. We are His flock and we must only make an effort to hear His voice, while He scrutinizes with love the sincerity of our hearts. And from this constant intimacy with our Shepherd, from this conversation with Him, springs the joy of following Him, allowing ourselves to be led to the fullness of eternal life.”