A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 10:11-16
Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd."
REFLECTION: A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
St Ambrose (340-397) was the Bishop of Milan. He was a theologian, doctor of the Church, musician, writer of many hymns, and eloquent in Latin. He was noted for being the teacher who converted and baptized St Augustine of Hippo.
St Ambrose was a good shepherd. He gave his life to his ministry in Milan.
The arian Auxentius ( the Arians did not believe in the Holy Trinity but believed that Jesus Christ was distinct from God the Father and therefore was subordinate to Him) was dead and a new bishop of Milan needed to be elected. It was a complicated time and there was a great deal of partisanship and a strong division. The city police led by Ambrose were there to guarantee order. During the arguments and discussions, someone yelled out "Ambrose. Bishop" . And just like that, amidst applause, he had no option but to accept.
In a few days he was baptized and received the Holy Orders. He went on to be the most illustrious Bishop of Milan. He was firm, charitable and prudent . Having great organizational skills and with the good use of his gifted virtues, he unified the Milanese Church.
He taught theology, explained Christian doctrine and delivered powerful sermons. It was St Ambrose who introduced the Christian life and baptized Saint Augustine.
Let us pray that our priests also be good shepherds. That they do not become complacent with the Covid pandemic, but work harder and more diligently in bringing back the flock to the Church, and bringing the Word of God to all.