To Jesus Our Good Shepherd - Devotion to the Passion
(Taken from St. Alphonsus’ Prayer-Book – page 445)
To Jesus our Good Shepherd

But who has ever seen such an example, the shepherd dying for his sheep, The Creator for His creatures!

[Image: jesus-christ-and-his-flock-intermediate-...1583020291]

    My Jesus, what Shepherd has ever given His life for His sheep?  Thou alone, because Thou art a God of infinite love, canst say, “And I lay down My life for My sheep.” (John x. 15).  Thou alone hast been able to show to the world this excess of love that, being our God and our supreme Lord, Thou hast yet willed to die for us.  It was of this excess of love that Moses and Elias spoke on Mount Tabor:  “They spoke of His decease that He should accomplish in Jerusalem”  (Luke ix. 31).  Hence St. John exhorts us to love a God Who was the first to love us:  “Let us therefore love God because God first hath loved us” (I John iv. I9).  As if He said, If we will not love this God for His infinite goodness, let us love Him at least for the love that He has borne us in suffering willingly the pains that were due to us.

    Remember, then, my Jesus, that I am one of those sheep for whom Thou hast given Thy life.  Ah, cast on me one of those looks of pity with which Thou  didst regard me once when Thou wast dying on the cross for me; look on me, change me, and save me.  Thou hast called Thyself the loving Shepherd Who, finding the lost sheep, takes it with joy and carries it on His shoulders, and then calls His friends to rejoice with Him:  “Rejoice with me, for I have found the sheep that was lost” (Luke xv. 6).  Behold, I am the lost sheep; seek me and find me:  “I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; seek Thy servant” (Ps. Cxviii. 176).  If through my fault Thou hast not yet found me, take me now and unite me and bind me to Thee, that Thou mayest not lose me again.  The bond must be that of Thy love; if Thou dost not bind me with this sweet chain Thou wilt again lose me.  Ah, it is not Thou who didst neglect to bind me by holy love; but I, am ungrateful wretch, who did continually flee from Thee.  But now I pray Thee, by that infinite mercy which caused Thee to come down to the earth to find me, ah, bind me; but bind me with a double chain of love, that Thou mayest not lose me again, and tat I may no more lose Thee.  I renounce all the goods and pleasures of the world, and other myself to suffer every pain and death, provided that I live and die always united to Thee.  I love Thee, my sweet Jesus; I love Thee, my good Shepherd, Who hast died for Thy lost sheep; but know that this sheep now loves Thee more than himself, and desires nothing but to love Thee and to be consumed by Thy love.  Have pity on him, then, and permit him never again to be separated from Thee.

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