A shepherd is different from a hired hand. No matter what happened, the sheep were his responsibility and he accepted that. In the Gospels, Jesus never backed away when people were critical of those who were part of his flock. When a woman entered the banquet and washed Jesus’ feet, the Pharisees complained. Jesus however didn’t stop her, because he knew she was really one of his flock.
Without being mean, it’s safe to say that sheep are really very dumb animals. Often times Jesus’ disciples did things that weren’t always very smart either. It would have been easy for Jesus to criticize them also. But he never backed away from his flock. He had ownership of them, he loved them, and they were his.
He regards me the same way ! Even when I do things that aren’t always very smart. He never backs away from me. He loves me and I am one of his flock !
God has a way of surprising us with his generous love, and Jesus is the ultimate expression of that love !
St. Joseph, pray for us !
DeColores, Deacon Doug