Lost Sheep, Smart Answers and Bad Jokes

I came across a book last year that was filed with knowledge and humor. It is called “Smart Answers and bad jokes, from a priest who proves God has a sense of humor, by Fr. Joe Krupp of the diocese of Lansing, Michigan. The book is a collection of apologetic responses to questions given to Fr. Joe by curious Catholics. They would write in to him and he would respond (with a unique touch of Christian humor, I might add) through his column in FAITH Magazine. This book is a collection of these columns that help explain the misconceptions of the Catholic faith and it is also the inspiration for today’s reflection. Click here to find the purchase details of the publication, I would highly recommend it.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to Himself as “The Good Shepherd” (John 10: 1-21). In making this metaphor, He eludes to the fact that we are His sheep that are more often than not lost. He guides us towards His glorious “pasture,” another metaphor that represents our constant communion with Him and with all of His creation.

In order for us to enter this pasture, however, there is a requirement on our part to be obedient to our Shepherd.

Take the following picture for example.

At first glance, we see Jesus leading His sheep along the pasture. We also notice the lamb that He is carrying on His shoulders. We could infer that this was one of the lost sheep that Jesus found wondering away from the flock (Matthew 18: 10-14). To this we might think “how great is our God to have found us so that we can follow him closer as opposed to being lost and away from Him and His flock.”
Although that might be our first impression, not a bit of it is true to reality. The truth is that the sheep that Jesus carries on His shoulders is wounded with a broken leg.
At this point, I will allow Fr. Joe Krupp to explain why this is so important:

“The lamb’s leg is broken because the shepherd broke it. …[I]f a shepherd has a sheep that will not stay with the group and tends to wonder around, he’ll break its leg and carry it around until the leg heals. This is for two reasons. First, because “a sheep that wanders is a sheep that is dead…” Second, once the lamb’s leg heals, it will not leave the shepherd’s side- ever.” (p.108)

Really makes our interpretation of this picture much different, doesn’t it?

So, how is your obedience to the Good Shepherd?
Live Jesus in our hearts forever!
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