Catholic World News

Pope Francis: the sheep must listen to the Good Shepherd

April 18, 2016

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading at Mass (Jn. 10:27-30), Pope Francis told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his April 17 Regina Coeli address that “no one can call himself a follower of Jesus if he does not listen to His voice.”

“The image of the shepherd and the sheep indicates the close relationship that Jesus wants to establish with each one of us,” Pope Francis continued. “He is our guide, our teacher, our friend, our model, but above all He is our Savior.”

The Pope added:

To save the lost sheep which we all are, the Shepherd is made a lamb, and is allowed to be immolated to take upon Himself and to take away the sin of the world. In this way He has given us life, life in abundance (cf. Jn. 10:10)! This mystery is renewed, in an always surprising humility, on the Eucharistic table …

The love of Jesus is invincible. The evil one, the great enemy of God and of His creatures, attempts in many ways to take eternal life from us. But the evil one can do nothing if we ourselves do not open to him the doors of our hearts, following his deceitful enticements.

Following the recitation of the Regina Coeli, Pope Francis prayed for victims of recent earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan, asked for prayers for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, and recalled the previous day’s visit with refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos.

“So many of them were children,” he said. “I saw so much sorrow!”

The Pope then recounted his meeting with a Muslim man whose Christian wife was slain by terrorists after she refused to renounce her faith. “She is a martyr!”

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