In our somewhat directionless world, isn’t it reassuring to hear our inner voice say, “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want”? These verses from the David’s Psalm echo through the three Readings of today; not only were they said by Jesus in His own lifetime, Peter repeats them endlessly after the Resurrection.

After the Resurrection, it was important to catechise. We see once again, in the First Reading (Acts 2: 14, 36-41), how the first Apostle reproached people for putting Jesus to death and urged them to repent. The reward for their repentance would be to receive “the gift of the Holy Spirit”. The pardon of our sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the New Covenant are the fulfilment of messianic promises. They are open to anyone who accepts the Word of God and transforms their life. And what a privilege, as St Peter puts it, “The promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to Him.”

The Good Shepherd, c. 300–350, at the Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome

Again, in his First Letter, part of which forms the Second Reading of today (1 Pet 2: 20-25), St Peter conscientizes the people. He talks about how Jesus who is at once our Shepherd and Paschal Lamb. By His voluntary Sacrifice, He showed us the way from death to life eternal. St Peter therefore invites us to suffer, as Jesus did, in the midst of life’s difficulties, which include misunderstandings, calumnies, accusations and persecutions, all of which Christians suffer for being a stumbling block and rock of offence to the world.

Through it all, we learn from the Gospel (Jn 10: 1-10), we have nothing to worry, for Jesus the Good Shepherd is always by our side. He knows His Father in Heaven very intimately, and know us too with the same intimacy. He thus becomes “the door” to Heaven, the Mediator par excellence to our Father in Heaven. And His warning against false teachers and doctors – “thieves and robbers” all – is valid for all times, especially our own. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life; He is our only salvation. He is the door; anyone who enters by Him alone will be saved.

This Sunday, then, is rightly known as “Good Shepherd Sunday”. May we trust only Jesus to be our Shepherd through life; through Him alone can we have life, and life in abundance. Above all, may our Pope, our bishops and priests be good shepherds, taking the lay faithful always to the right pasture.