Monday, April 27, 2015
4th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 11:1–18
Gospel: Jn 10:1–10s
Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Truly, I say to you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. But the shepherd of the sheep enters by the gate. The keeper opens the gate to him and the sheep hear his voice; he calls each of his sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them and the sheep follow him for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, rather they will run away from him because they don’t recognize a stranger’s voice.”
Jesus used this comparison, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, I am the gate of the sheep. All who came were thieves and robbers, and the sheep did not hear them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved; he will go in and out freely and find food.
“The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life, life in all its fullness.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The Church in the Philippines should find better metaphors in its understanding of Jesus’ pastoral concern for His people. At present the Church uses the metaphor of shepherd on Jesus in relation to his people. But this word is foreign to Filipinos because we are not a sheep country. The metaphor does not elicit the idea of responsibility as powerfully as the word shepherd does to Palestinians.
It does not help that we have translated to word “Shepherd” to our different dialects. “Pastol” (for the Tagalogs) sounds Protestant. “Magbalantay” (for the Cebuanos) sounds too generic because Cebuanos use the term both for tending animals and attending to one’s properties. The Cebuano term “Bakero” would have been the better term because it is the kind of animal-tending where the care-taker accompanies the animal while grazing in the field, sometimes riding on the animal’s back, at other times just sitting under the shade watching the grazing animal. “Bakero”, however, sounds Spanish.
While we hope that our local Church finds a better term, let us celebrate the grace of having a good Shepherd by taking up his challenge to become shepherds to one another. At the Last Supper while washing the feet of the Apostles, he told them, “love one another as I have loved you”.
We are called to become shepherds to one another. The government is shepherd to the people; parents are shepherds to their children. Children too are called to become shepherds to one another: the manong and manang (eldest child) to the mano and mana (second child); the mano and mana to the ingko and insi (third child), the ingko and insi to the undo and inday (youngest).
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: God our Father, give us true love for one another so that as shepherds we may lead our brothers and sisters to the green meadow where Jesus is Lord forever and ever. Amen. .
ST.PETER ARMINGOL, was born in Catalonia, Spain in 1238 and as a young boy he was with bandits who roamed and plundered the countryside. However he decided to change after his group almost plundered his father’s entourage. He begged for forgiveness, entered the Order of Mercedarians, and devoted himself to the redemption of captives. He was faithful to a life of prayer and repentance and on one occasion when there was insufficient money to redeem 18 young boys from slavery, he offered himself to the Moors. He was hanged but was discovered still alive when his body was taken down. He remained with the Mercedarians until his death in 1304.