The Shepherd, May 2005

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Christ is Risen!
Truly, He is Risen!

FROM THE FATHERS

“THE LORD speaks of three persons, and we must consider them carefully as they are in the Gospel (John 10:1-16): the persons of the shepherd, of the hireling, and of the thief. While it was being read I presume that you noticed that He was describing a shepherd, that He described the hireling, and He described the thief. The shepherd, He said, entered in by the door, and laid down his life for his sheep. The thief and the robber, He said, climb in by another way. The hireling, He said, should he see a wolf, or even a thief, flies; because he has no concern for the sheep; for he is a hireling, not a shepherd. The first enters by the door, because he is the shepherd; this other climbs in another way, because he is a thief; and this last, seeing those coming who are going to steal the sheep is afraid and runs away, because he has no care for the sheep; for he is a hireling. When we have learned who these three persons are, Your Sanctity has found those whom you should love, those whom you should bear with, and those of whom you must beware. The shepherd you must love, the hireling you must suffer, against the thief you must be on your guard. There are men in the Church of whom the Apostle says that they preach the Gospel because of their circumstances, seeking from men the things that are theirs (Phil. 2:21): money, honour, or praise of men. They preach the Gospel, seeking gain by any means; seeking not so much the salvation of those to whom they preach as their own advantage. But he who hears the word of salvation from him, who has not himself gained salvation, should believe in the One Whom he preaches, not placing his hopes in the one through whom salvation is preached. He that preaches shall suffer loss; he to whom he preaches shall gain.”

Blessed Augustine of Hippo, + 430 A.D.

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