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Monday, April 26, 1999

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Acts 11:1-18
Psalm 42
John 10:11-18

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sheep are stupid

"I am the Good Shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me." —John 10:14

Sheep are extra stupid. It's no accident that the first mammal to be cloned was a sheep. Sheep seem to need more help than other animals. There are several different kinds of sheep dogs, but no pig dogs, cow dogs, or horse dogs. There are so many sports teams now that they're running out of names. When you get to ducks, stingrays, ravens, and avalanches, you're getting hard up. Nevertheless, no one names his team "the sheep."

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, calls us sheep. We've been called worse, but this is far from a compliment, although He shares in our "sheepishness" by letting Himself be called the Lamb of God (see Jn 1:29, 36). By calling us "sheep," He makes it clear that we are not only weak, we're helpless. Without Him, we can do nothing (Jn 15:5).

Sheep, despite their stupidity and helplessness, can have the abundant life (see Jn 10:10), as long as they realize that they are sheep and that they need the Good Shepherd always and for everything. If sheep know nothing but the Good Shepherd, they will never "be snatched and scattered by the wolf" (Jn 10:12) but will be led to green pastures (Ps 23:2). The only hope for us sheep is to follow the Good Shepherd, but this is the only hope we need.

Prayer:  Jesus, the Good Shepherd, protect me in the valley of the shadow of death (see Ps 23:4, KJV).

Promise:  "As I began to address them the Holy Spirit came upon them, just as it had upon us at the beginning." —Acts 11:15

Praise:  The Winters, both physicians, moved into the poorest section of town to open a medical clinic, raise their family, and bring Jesus into the lives of the poor.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, October 9, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 17, 1998