AHC A I Am the Gate Additional Reading A True Shepherd At Last - Hebrew Catholics

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A True Shepherd At Last

In the first part of Chapter 34 (verses 1 — 10) of the prophecy of Ezekiel, the writer laments, with some indignation, the lack of care the rulers of Israel demonstrate towards the Lord’s flock. The suffering of the people is attributed to the lack of proper guidance and nurturing according to their real needs. The Lord God is angry that the power and authority He gave the leaders have been used by them to further their own advantage instead of the good of all.

The Prophet of God then proclaims one of the most beautiful messages of hope in all of Sacred Scripture. Through His messenger, God describes how the True Shepherd of Israel will restore the damage already done, and provide the guidance and support God’s people will need to bring them to the fullness of life for which they were created.       (Ezekiel 34: 11 — 16)

Ezekiel 34: 11 — 16     They Shall Have A True Shepherd

This is what the Lord God says: I mean to go looking for this flock of mine,
search it out for myself. As a shepherd, when he finds his flock scattered
all about him, goes looking for his sheep, so will I go looking for these
sheep of mine, rescue them from all the nooks into which they have strayed
when the dark mist fell upon them. Rescued from every kingdom, recovered
from every land, I will bring them back to their own country; they shall have
pasture on the hill-sides of Israel, by its watercourses, in the resting-places
of their home. Yes, I will lead them out into fair pastures, the high mountains
of Israel, with soft grass for them to rest on, rich feed for them to graze.
Food and rest, says the Lord God, both these I will give to my flock. The lost
sheep I will find, the strayed sheep I will bring home again; bind up the
broken limb, nourish the wasted frame, keep the well-fed and the sturdy
free from harm; they shall have a true Shepherd at last.       (Knox translation)

In the parables our Lord told depicting Himself as the Good Shepherd — the True Shepherd, He draws on all the Old Testament accounts of the love and protection shown by the “Shepherd of Israel“. When Jesus reached the time to declare Himself to be this great shepherd, even the most intuitive person, possessing gifts of profound insight would be straining to catch the whole scope of our Saviour’s precious disclosure. In drawing from the prophecy of Ezekiel, our Lord proclaims that He Himself is:—

•    “their own country”;
•    “pasture on the hillsides of Israel”;
•    “the resting-places”;
•    “the high mountains of Israel”;
•    “soft grass for them”;
•    “rich feed for them”;
•    the “true Shepherd”.

All of these they are now to seek in Him, and nowhere else. The former shadows are passing away and that to which they pointed towards, is now in their presence. These things Jesus says, “I AM“.

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