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Good Shepherd--Thomas Aquinas

 

Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd

 

St. Thomas Aquinas

Priest and Doctor of the Church

 

St. Thomas Aquinas, Early Church Father, Father of the Early ChurchThis excerpt from St. Thomas Aquinas' Exposition on John's Gospel (Cap 10, lect. 3) is used in the Roman Catholic Divine Office of Readings, Monday of the 21st week in Ordinary Time.

 

I am the Good Shepherd. Surely it is fitting that Christ should be a shepherd, for just as a flock is guided and fed by a shepherd so the faithful are fed by Christ with spiritual food and with his own body and blood. The Apostle said: You were once like sheep without a shepherd, but now you have returned to the guardian and ruler of your souls. The prophet has said: As a shepherd he pastures his flock.


Christ said that the shepherd enters through the gate and that he is himself the gate as well as the shepherd. Then it is necessary that he enter through himself. By so doing, he reveals himself, and through himself he knows the Father. But we enter through him because through him we find happiness.


Take heed: no one else is the gate but Christ. Others reflect his light, but no one else is the true light. John the Baptist was not the light, but he bore witness to the light. It is said of Christ, however: He was the true light that enlightens every man. For this reason no one says that he is the gate; this title is Christís own. However, he has made others shepherds and given that office to his members; for Peter was a shepherd, and so were the other apostles and all good bishops after them. Scripture says: I shall give you shepherds according to my own heart. Although the bishops of the Church, who are her sons, are all shepherds, nevertheless Christ refers only to one person in saying: I am the Good Shepherd, because he wants to emphasise the virtue of charity. Thus, no one can be a good shepherd unless he is one with Christ in charity. Through this we become members of the true shepherd.


The duty of a good shepherd is charity; therefore Christ said: The good shepherd gives his life for his sheep. Know the difference between a good and a bad shepherd: the good shepherd cares for the welfare of his flock, but the bad shepherd cares only for his own welfare.


The Good Shepherd does not demand that shepherds lay down their lives for a real flock of sheep. But every spiritual shepherd must endure the loss of his bodily life for the salvation of the flock, since the spiritual good of the flock is more important than the bodily life of the shepherd, when danger threatens the salvation of the flock. This is why the Lord says: The good shepherd lays down his life, that is, his physical life, for his sheep; this he does because of his authority and love. Both, in fact, are required: that they should be ruled by him, and that he should love them. The first without the second is not enough.


Christ stands out for us as the example of this teaching: If Christ laid down his life for us, so we also ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

 

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The Passion - The Meaning of the Movie

by: Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio

 

The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson, The First BeliverAs we ponder Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ movie and the events it depicts, we can't help but ask why it had to happen this way?  Why did Jesus have to pass through such horrible torture to redeem us?  Could not forgiveness and salvation have been obtained in some other way?  Why does the Devil figure so prominently in the movie?  And why does Mary play such an important role?  This talk, The Passion - The Meaning of the Movie, is a perfect complement to Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ film and The Guide to the Passion, will help you get the most out of the movie and the most out of the season.  45 minutes, followed by questions and answers.

 

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Here's the whole text of the New American Bible, along with answers to all the most important questions about the Catholic Faith. Why do we believe in the Real Presence? Why do we venerate the saints? How are good works necessary for salvation? The answers are all in the Bible. But until now, finding them has meant juggling books and flipping pages. This is the one book that gives you the complete answers in their Scripture context, with more than 800 references to Scripture and the Catechism.

 

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"I Believe" - The Heart of Catholic Faith

by: Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

I Believe - The Heart of the Catholic Faith, The Nicence Creed, Catholic FaithWhen people ask you to explain your faith, where do you start?

In this dynamic, four-part series, Dr. D'Ambrosio explains how the very heart of the Christian faith is all about intimate, personal relationships

"I Believe" follows the outline of the Nicene Creed, but don't be mistaken--it is far from a stodgy or academic presentation of tenets and beliefs!  Full of enlightening metaphors and colorful anecdotes, "I Believe" leads its audience not only to clearer understanding of the faith, but a deeper love relationship with God the Father, Son, and Spirit. 

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