Vatican City, May 7, 2017 / 04:57 am
Reflecting on the image of the Good Shepherd, Pope Francis said the Good Shepherd's is only voice that leads us to safety and friendship with God, and cautioned against the false wisdom of those who confuse and deter us from this path.
“It is not always easy to distinguish the voice of the Good Shepherd. There is always the danger of the thief, the robber and the false shepherd,” the Pope said May 7.
“There is always the risk of being distracted by the clamor of many other voices,” he said, and invited faithful “to not allow ourselves to be diverted by the false wisdoms of this world, but to follow Jesus, the Risen one, as the only sure guide that gives meaning to our lives.”
Francis spoke to pilgrims during his Sunday Regina Coeli address, which coincided with the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Shortly before leading pilgrims in the traditional Marian prayer, he presided over Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, where he ordained 10 men to the priesthood.
In his address, the Pope pointed to the day’s Gospel reading from John, which recounts the parable of the Good Shepherd. He said the passage gives us two images: the image of the shepherd, and the image of the gate to the fold of sheep.
“The flock, which is all of us, has as a home a fold that gives refuge, where the sheep abide and rest after the fatigue of the journey,” the Pope said, noting that there are two people in the passage who try to draw near to the flock.
One of these people is the shepherd, and the second is a stranger, “who does not love the sheep,” Francis said, explaining that Jesus identifies with the shepherd, “and shows a relationship of familiarity with the sheep.”
This familiarity is expressed through his voice, “with which he calls them and it is recognized and followed,” taking them the “grassy meadows” where they find the nourishment they need, he said.