3rd May 2020 – John 10: 1-10

I am the good shepherd” Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC 2017

A thoughtful, pensive and diligent shepherd, he holds the sheep tightly, both hands crossed. Holding on for dear life…think about that phrase `holding on for dear life…`

His face knows struggle and something of the pain and dangers of the world. The blood red cross rises behind him, strongly present in the background, sanctifying, hallowing, halo-ing him.

The sheep is calm, settled,seemingly without a care, curled tightly around the shepherd`s neck, resting completely on his shoulders. Firmly held and utterly safe.

Glad to be where he, she, is.

Gold and red and pink and brown and white – an unusual combination of colours. Why do you think the artist chose them? And the strokes of the brush – urgent, strong, sweeping across the canvas yet the outlines are clearly defined.

This human, suffering shepherd and the settled safe sheep…

The Lord is my shepherd…nothing will be lacking…Ps. 23: 1

Maria Laughlin – Christ, the Good Shepherd

This is a radiant shepherd. Light streams from behind him, out beyond the confines of the picture – to us. The light pulsates around his body – black and white and grey.

He has come through suffering – see the imprint of the nail. This shepherd is come through a cruel death. Yet he is alive! He is a resurrected shepherd.

He carries a heart outside his body. His wound is obvious

His face, calm and peaceful, his body relaxed – no turbulence or worry here –

he exhibits an assured, gentle presence.

The sheep cuddles in beside him, luxuriating in the closeness and intimacy of this moment. Is this the returned sheep, the rescued sheep?

It is a glorious moment of quiet shining communion.

Have you ever had an experience like this?

`…the sheep follow him because they know his voice` John 10: 4