“One flock, One Shepherd”
After the first sin, God chose Israel to be the instrument through whom He would bring salvation to the whole world. Although Israel was His people, God was not content to save the Jewish people alone – He wants everyone to be saved. But it was from the Jewish people that the Messiah would be born. Hence Simeon declared JESUS at the Presentation in the Temple to be “the light to lighten the Gentiles (non-Jews) and the glory of His people Israel.” The Catholic Church which Christ founded on Peter is related to Israel and is the continuation of God’s chosen people. For this reason in today’s Gospel Our Lord says, “There are other sheep I have who are not of this fold.” Therefore, Christ is King of ALL the earth. The whole world is under His Sovereignty. But “the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep.” Think of the divisions in Christianity since the sixteenth century. Just as the wolf (Satan) attacked Our Lord Himself in His Passion, so he attacks His Mystical Body, the Church, sowing division and discord. And yet Our Lord says, “there will be only one flock and one shepherd.” In other words, there are other sheep who must be brought into, or brought back into this fold.
It was to the Catholic Church alone, founded on Peter the rock that Christ gave the Divine mandate to preach the Gospel and to make disciples of all nations. It was to the Catholic Church He promised the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. God wants everyone to be a member of this one flock. This is because “all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is His Body … He Himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door (Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 846).
It is a great grace for us to be members of Christ’s one flock, and because we possess this great gift we want to share it with others. Let us try to be ambassadors for Christ, and with God’s help by our prayer, word and example, seek to bring as many into the one flock as we can.
Fr Paul Gillham IC