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Christ the good shepherd who never leaves his flock untended

Apr 24, 2013, 10:03 AM | Article By: FR. EDU GOMEZ - Parish of the Resurrection, Brikama

In the gospel of John, chapter 10, the apostle John dedicates the whole chapter on Jesus as the good shepherd.He is the good shepherd as oppose to the bad shepherd.A bad shepherd as oppose to the good, would always seek self interest, being care free in attitude and would not protect the flock in the midst of difficulties.Jesus the good shepherd cares, feeds, shelters, secures the flock and would not run away when a wolf threatens.

In our reflection on Christ, the good shepherd the Church enables us to think of the role of leadership in the Church of Christ on earth.There cannot be any human community or institution without a leader.According to the principles of group dynamics, leadership is the anchor through which a group finds it identity.The leader is the one who guides the center of focus for all who are led and the one who gives a sense of direction to those led.

The Church of Christ on earth began by having the apostles as leaders with Peter being the head of them all (Jn. 1:42).Even after Jesus’ death Peter continued to lead and shepherd the disciples.At various times he called and convened the apostles and directed the affairs of the disciples.He followed the foot steps of Jesus who gave the command, “I am with you until the end of time”. (Matt. 28:20)

Christianity is an authentic way and Christ is the shepherd who looks after his Church through its leadership.Therefore every minister of the Church stands in for Christ and acts always in the person of Christ, or “in persona Christu”.Faith in Christ the good shepherd means entrusting oneself to the person of Christ in a way a child entrusts oneself to a parent of guardian.This is what should be with the leadership in the Church where the ministers of the Church are entrusted the pastoral care of the flock or its membership.This means that for life, for protection, for care and for peace, a believer looks nowhere else but to the Church leadership.This is what makes the task of the Church leadership a huge one.

By way of looking at the above again, we need to ask ourselves, does the Church leadership today care, lead, feed, protect and counsel its membership.This is a big question to ask because some members of the Church look up to the Church leadership but do not get suitable responses as the disciples got from Jesus.

The leadership in the Church should always manifest itself in its maturity in Christ.Christ in his love and care should be mentored by the leadership of the Church in caring for its membership, guiding it, protecting it from harm and preserving it in its unity.

Jesus Christ in his life and ministry lived to care and tend for his flock and it is for this sole reason he was able to go after the one sheep that was lost leaving the ninety-nine behind (Lk. 15:4-7).Every member of the Church of Christ is equally important to be cared for, protected and showed the love of Christ.

Christians are besieged today by many issues that touch and test their faith.There are issues of social injustice of all kinds, hunger for the word of God, lack of peace of mind, sickness, murder, indecency especially with the rise of homosexuality.What does the Church leadership do about all this and where do they stand?