From the Vault: The Priest as Shepherd


By Matthew Janeczko, OFM Cap.

Preaching about today’s Gospel this morning became one of those no-win situations where there is so much embedded imagery, so much history, so much theology, that one wants to basically throw hands up in the air and tell the Wonderful People of God, “just pray with this, I don’t want to ruin it with my comments.”

The Gospel, in case a reminder is needed, taught us this today:

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

And it got me thinking that a time ago I wrote something for a class about the priesthood and the notion of the shepherd.  Then I revised it and it was published by our school journal.  It’s neither terribly long nor dense.  My work attempted to investigate “shepherd” imagery in relation to the priesthood in its scriptural, doctrinal, and theological implications.

Take a read if you like.  Comments, as always, are welcome.


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