If you attended Mass yesterday, you were reminded that this Sunday, the midway point between Easter and Pentecost, is Good Shepherd Sunday. This particular Sunday, also the Fourth Sunday in Easter, gets its name from the readings that focus on important motif within the Sacred Scriptures – the idea of a shepherd.
For us as faithful Christians, we often think of Christ as the Shepherd since he speaks of himself as one in John 10 – “I am the good shepherd.” And although Christ is our perfect shepherd, the term shepherd was also assigned to King David since he led the flock of Israelites after uniting them. The role of shepherd is very important because a good shepherd cares for this flock and each member of the flock in important in the eyes of the shepherd. It is a motif that runs through both the Old and New Testaments and finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
Although the term shepherd is found 57 times in 54 verses in the Sacred Scriptures, below are 10 Scripture verses that I wanted to share with you. These particular verses speak of the importance of a shepherd but also as they pertain to Jesus Christ and the New Covenant.
1. “In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you that led out and brought in Israel; and the LORD said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.” – 2 Samuel 5:2
2. “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;’ – Psalm 23:1
3. “from tending the ewes that had young he brought him to be the shepherd of Jacob his people, of Israel his inheritance” – Psalm 78:71
4. “He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” – Isaiah 40:11
5. “As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some of his sheep have been scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.” – Ezekiel 34:12
6. “My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes. – Ezekiel 37:24
7. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36
8. “Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,” – Matthew 25:32
9. “I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,” – John 10:14
10. “And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd” – John 10:16