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Our Shepherd

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Matthew 9:35 – 10:1, 6-8
 
The language of the Gospel recalls the words of the Old Testament prophets, especially Ezekiel.  Israel’s religious leaders had failed to give sure guidance to the people, to keep them faithful to the covenant and to maintain proper awareness of God in their midst.
 
God’s answer to this was to promise that he himself would come amonth his people to shepherd them (Ezekiel 34).
 
Jesus is the fulfilment of this promise.  As God made man he has come to be the shepherd — the priest and leader who draws God’s people into unity and reconciliation with the Father.  He is the Good Shepherd who calls each one of us by name into his fold.
 
While the Lord personally exercises his role as shepherd in each of our lives, he has also chosen disciples, as in the Gospel, who share in his ministry and who are the sacramental sign of his presence in the Church.  As ordained ministers they are called to act 'in the person of Christ’; through preaching the Gospel and adminstering the sacraments they can provide the means whereby we can grow as Christ’s flock.
 
We pray especially for the disciples’ successors, the bishops of the Church.  We pray also for vocations to the priesthood and for those who have responded that they might be true shepherds, conformed to the likeness of Christ.
 
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