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~PERCY'S CATHOLIC APOLOGETICS ~

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< JESUS,THE GOOD SHEPHERD, CONFIRMED THIS AUTHORITY TO PETER:IN [JN 21:15-17].>

Rise Up, Shepherds, and Follow (Traditional)

There's a Savior to see on a Christmas morn,
Rise up, shepherds, and follow.
He will show you the place where the child is born,
Rise up, shepherds, and follow.
Leave your sheep and leave your lambs,
Rise up shepherds and follow.
Follow, follow, rise up, shepherds, and follow.
Hark to the angels of Bethlehem,
Rise up, shepherds, and follow.
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In general, Christ terms His Church a kingdom, which supposes some organized authority. However the explicit steps in the establishing of an authoritative hierarchy are clear. Christ chose certain special men. "You have not chosen Me: but I have chosen you." Jn. 15:16. He gave them His own mission. "As the Father hath sent Me, I also send " Jn. 20:21. This commission included His teaching authority: "Teach all nations ... whatsoever I have commanded you." Matt. 28:19-20; His power to sanctify "Baptizing them," Matt. 28:19; forgiving sin, "Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven," Jn. 20:23; offering sacrifice, "Do this for a commemoration of Me." 1Cor. 11:24; His legislative or disciplinary power "He who hears you, hears Me, and he who despises you despises Me," Lk. 10:16; "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in Heaven," Matt. 18:18. "If a man will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen," Matt. 18:17. The Apostles certainly exercised these powers from the beginning. Thus we read in the Acts of the Apostles, "They were all persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles," 2:42. St. Paul himself did not hesitate to excommunicate the incestuous Corinthian. 1Cor. 5:35. And he wrote to the Hebrews, "Obey your prelates, and be subject to them." Heb. 14:17.

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Jesus is the Good Shepherd
by Francisco Ramos, LC


This simplest of reflections, yet profoundly true, should uproot the doubt and distrust that set up camp in our hearts at times. What else could we long for in our lives? God, the good Shepherd, knows and calls his sheep by their name.

November 14, 2004 / John 10: 1-10

“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”



Meditating on Christ’s words can be very consoling especially when he shows us a little of what he has in his heart. Jesus calls his sheep by name and he leads them. We could learn quite a bit from this short passage. Above all, experiencing an immense happiness knowing that none other than God himself calls us by our name.

Who doesn’t feel honored and joyful when someone famous or a dignitary shows that they know us and better still, when they do so in public? Imagine if the Holy Father called out your name over the microphone in St. Peter’s square inviting you to dinner. The emotion, the surprise, the enthusiasm would become one enormous sentiment of astonishment within our heart. But here the situation is still more impressive because we are not dealing with a famous person, it is our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is an echo of this reality in another Gospel passage where Jesus tells us something equally amazing: rejoice that your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). The mere thought of your name and mine being recorded in the lists of celestial calligraphy from God the Father’s hand should lift our spirits and send fear packing.

This simplest of reflections, yet profoundly true, should uproot the doubt and distrust that set up camp in our hearts at times. What else could we long for in our lives? God, the good Shepherd, knows and calls his sheep by their name. He knows us and that is enough. This should be our farewell to the display of being known and esteemed by the whole world. Good-bye loneliness, good-bye honor, good-bye tears of distress, good-bye fear.

If we add that he, the good shepherd, leads us, what else could we demand from our Lord? Has he not said it already? I am the way…But just for additional astonishment, where does he lead us? To the fold, and what a fold! Heaven! In no time flat we have discovered the solution of all solutions. Isn’t it evident that we all search for happiness in this life through many intricate paths, and above all with that supernatural longing for heaven? Christ our good shepherd tells us where we should direct our steps. We just need to listen for his voice. And the best way to hear his soft yet firm voice is by being faithful to our conscience, the divine voice within us.

The path he leads us down should never scare us. At times it is through dark ravines and at other moments through soft, green valleys, but the important thing is to know that he is with us and that should always fill us with peace, confidence and serenity.

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Introduction

Part 1: The Life of a Christian on Earth                                       Click to Enlarge Picture
From the Gospel of  St. John... The Gospel of Faith... of Christ in Us... We in Christ.

Part 2: The Life in the Kingdom... as a King on Earth
From the Gospel of St. Matthew... the Gospel of the Kingdom, of the Church, of the Messiah.

Part 3: Christianity, the Religion of Joy
From the Gospel of St. Luke... the Gospel of Joy... of the Savior... of Virgin Mary... of the Spirit.

Part 4: Christianity, the Religion of Action and Love
From the Gospel of St. Mark... the Gospel of Action... of deeds

Part 5: The Redemption of a Christian
From the four Gospels... the Holy Week... the Passion... the Cross... Resurrection... Ascension.