This day we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday and World Day of Prayer for Vocations. In our Gospel, Jesus refers to himself as “the good shepherd.” He then goes on to define what makes the shepherd good: “A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Jesus speaks of his unconditional love for us as his sheep. It is in the process of laying down his life that Jesus can offer us the gift of salvation in his resurrection and the gift of a glorified body in his second coming.
Jesus tells us that he is the good shepherd who knows his sheep and they know him when he calls. This implies more than an acquaintance with another person, rather it implies an intimate relationship. When someone is called to religious life or any vocation, one deepens that relationship with Jesus and the community. We pray this day for all who are called to a vocation, whether to the single life, married life, religious life, priesthood or deaconate.