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The Good Shepherd — Divine Intimacy Meditation

The Good Shepherd

Presence of God – I come to You, O Jesus, my Good Shepherd; lead me to the pastures of eternal life.


The liturgy today sums up in the gentle figure of the Good Shepherd all that Jesus has done for our souls.

The shepherd is everything to his flock; their life, their sustenance, and their care is entirely in his hands, and if the shepherd is good, they will have nothing to fear under his protection, and they will want for nothing.

Jesus is preeminently the Good Shepherd: He not only loves, feeds, and guards His sheep, but He also gives them life at the cost of His own. In the mystery of the Incarnation, the Son of God comes to GoodShepherd3GebhardFugelearth in search of men who, like stray sheep, have wandered away from the sheepfold and have become lost in the dark valley of sin. He comes as a most loving Shepherd who, in order to take better care of His flock, is not afraid to share their lot. [1 Peter 2:21-25] shows Him to us as He takes our sins upon Himself that He may heal us by His Passion: “Who His own self bore our sins in His Body upon the tree that we, being dead to sin, should live to justice; by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray; but you are now converted to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” (1 Peter 2:24-25). Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd, and I give my life for my sheep” and in the Office for Paschal time, the Church chants many times: “The Good Shepherd is risen, He who gave His life for His sheep and who died for His flock.” What could be a better synthesis of the whole work of the Redemption? It seems still more wonderful when we hear Jesus declare: “I am come that they may have life and may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). In truth, He could well repeat to each one of us: “What more could I have done for you that I have not done?” (cf. Isaiah 5:4). Oh, would that our generosity in giving ourselves to Him had no limits, after the pattern of His own liberality in giving Himself to us!


“O Lord, You are my Shepherd, I shall not want; You make me lie down in green pastures, You lead me to the water of refreshment, You convert my soul and lead me on the paths of justice. Even though I walk in the ravines, in the dark valleys, I shall fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff are my comfort. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over” (cf. Psalm 23). O Lord, my Good Shepherd, what more could You have done for me that You have not done? What could You have given to me that You have not given? You willed to be my food and drink. What more delightful and salutary, nourishing and strengthening pasture could You have found than Your own Body and Blood?

“O good Lord Jesus Christ, my sweet Shepherd, what return shall I make to You for all that You have given me? What shall I give You in exchange for Your gift of Yourself to me? Even if I could give myself to You a thousand times, it would still be nothing, since I am nothing in comparison with You. You, so great, have loved me so much and so gratuitously, I who am so small, so wicked and ungrateful! I know, O Lord, that Your love tends toward the immense, the infinite, because You are immense and infinite. Please tell me, O Lord, how I ought to love You.

“My love, O Lord, is not gratuitous, it is owed to You…. Although I cannot love You as much as I should, You accept my weak love. I can love You more when You condescend to increase my virtue, but I can never give You what You deserve. Give me then, Your most ardent love by which, with Your grace, I shall love You, please You, serve You, and fulfill Your commands. May I never be separated from You, either in time or in eternity, but abide, united to You in love, forever and ever” (Ven. R. Jourdain).


Art: Partial restoration detail of Ansichtskarte zum Gedenken an den Jugendsonntag in Ravensburg Motiv: Guter Hirte (Postcard commemorating youth Sunday in Ravensburg, subject Good Shepherd), Gebhard Fugel (1863-1939), 1920s?, PD-US author’s life plus 75 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Joan

    Jesus the Good Shepherd and The Lamb of God!

  • marybernadette

    ‘The Good Shepherd who gives ‘His Life for His Flock.’ There is no ‘Greater Love than that a man die to save his friends.’ To God be the Glory forever and ever , Amen.’

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