“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Ps 23:1).
In order to make Himself understood, our Lord speaks to us with comparisons that we know from our human life. The image of the Good Shepherd who, in his vigilant attitude, does not lose sight of the flock entrusted to him, wants to convey to us how the Lord watches over His own.
We know how a good shepherd takes care of his sheep and how, on the other hand, a bad shepherd neglects the flock entrusted to him. When he sees the wolf coming, he flees for his own life, because he does not care for the sheep. Such people the Lord calls “hired servants” (Jn 10:12-13).
We, as Catholics, understand well that this comparison must also apply to all those who are called to feed the flock of the faithful. Those who have been appointed to this ministry must reflect the shepherding of our Heavenly Father. In them His loving concern for our salvation is to be made palpable.
God, the Shepherd of all humanity, has entrusted to the pastors of the Church this great ministry and has given to them all that is necessary for the pilgrimage to eternal life, which is to be administered to the faithful. Thus we can exclaim with the psalmist: “I lack nothing,” for God has provided everything. A good shepherd is even called to give his life for the sheep, as our divine Shepherd did (Jn 10:11).
Should situations arise that prevent human shepherds from exercising their ministry as they should, it will be the divine Shepherd who will guide His sheep in the midst of tribulations.
Indeed, our Father knows well every situation in which we – and all humanity – find ourselves. He assures us that, like the Good Shepherd, He will use everything for our salvation.