Only Jesus Lays down His Life for the Sheep

The Good Shepherd is Jesus Christ, the Son of God and of Mary, our bees and Redeemer; it must be said, in fact, that he is the only, true and eternal shepherd of our souls! While he attributes this title to himself, he takes Care to justify the reason and the validity of this personal attribution: only he, in fact knows his sheep and they know him (cf. Jn 10:14); only he "lays down his life for the sheep" (Jn 10:11); only he guides them and leads them along safe ways; only he defends them from evil, symbolized by the rapacious wolf. In this wonderful work, however, Christ does not want to be and to act alone, but he intends to associate with himself collaborators-men chosen among men in favor of other men (cf. Heb 5:1). These he calls with a special "vocation of love, invests with his sacred powers and sends as apostles into the world, so that they may continue his salvific mission, always and everywhere, until the end of time. Christ, therefore, needs, wills to need, the response, the zeal, the love of those who are "called," so that he may still know, guide, defend, and love so many other sheep, sacrificing also life for them, if necessary. 

ANGELUS May 6, 1979

(Pope John Paul II, “Love is the Explanation of Everything”, Rizzoli 2011, Page 016)

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