“I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.” A priest once shared that we use two candles at the altar to represent Jesus as the one true light, the Light of the World. One candle represents Jesus’ divine nature, the other represents his human nature. Both candles burn perfectly and brightly as Jesus is perfect in both form – true God and true man. In his divinity, Jesus is God, the High Priest and the Good Shepherd. As God, Jesus is a just and righteous King. The King of kings and the Lord of lords. In his humanity, Jesus is true man, true sacrifice, true lamb. He is the faithful servant, obedient to the point of death on a cross. As High Priest, Jesus offers himself faithfully as the worthy sacrifice to the Father. As the unblemished sacrifice, he is the perfect offering for our redemption and the forgiveness of our sins. As the Good Shepherd, he faithfully leads the flock to God by his words, example, deeds. Jesus shows us the value of believing, trusting, listening to God’s voice and following God’s lead. Jesus helps us to understand the importance of trusting the Holy Spirit and entrusting ourselves to his gracious gifts that we may do God’s will willingly and not our own. The Good Shepherd is the one who laid down his life for us. He freely gave his life. By his wounds, we have been healed. By his death, we live forever. Pope Francis said we must smell like our sheep. I’m wondering if we smell like our Shepherd. The sweet fragrance of goodness, purity, holiness. Jesus is the gate to Father’s heart. He cares for his sheep, he tends to the Spirit within us, he feeds us with himself, he provides us with safe passage to our true home. As sheep, we also have a role to play. As faithful, beloved children of God, we are dependent on God, we need God, he cares for us, he always provides for us. As the sheep of God’s flock, entrusted to the care of the Good Shepherd, we must be attentive to Jesus’ voice, open to his instruction, obedient to his commands, faithful to his guidance, willing to follow his lead. Sheep wander; we must not. We must remain faithful to Jesus and stay on the right path; the path to eternal life. When we head in the wrong direction, we must acknowledge we are going the wrong way, we are lost and need assistance. Cry out to Jesus. Allow Jesus, the Good Shepherd to put you on his shoulder and safely bring you back into the fold.