This title honouring Mary appears early in Christian history, in return for financial assistance in
renovating the church of Saint Mary Major in Rome, Pope Sixtus III (432 – 440) granted land to
the people of Genazzano. Italy. Eventually, a church consecrated to Our Lady of Good Counsel
was built there and entrusted to the care of the Augustinian Order.
Mysteriously, an Albanian icon, Our Lady of Shkodra (Good Counsel), arrived at this church, in
April 1467. The image depicts Mary and the Christ Child. Numerous healings and miracles have
been attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Good Counsel. She is a patron of many
women’s groups, including the Catholic Women’s League of Canada.
Acts 11: 1 – 18
John 10: 1 – 10
Today Jesus again identifies himself as a shepherd. The shepherd is the individual who spent most
of his life with his sheep. It was his responsibility to protect the sheep. He also led them. The
shepherd made sure the sheep had sufficient water to drink and grass to eat. He also protected the
sheep from wolves and other predators.
The shepherd’s life was one of constant movement. After the sheep ate all the grass in one pasture,
the shepherd moved them to another green pasture. The shepherd’s life also was a lonely life. For
weeks, the shepherd’s only companions were his sheep. Since his sheep were his closest
companions and friends, most likely the shepherd came to know his sheep well. He knew which
sheep were docile and he also recognized the unruly and stubborn sheep. Yet, the shepherd was
committed to caring for each of the sheep, even the aggravating ones.
Usually the shepherd had a very strong bond with his sheep. He not only was responsible for them,
he truly cared about his sheep (and perhaps even came to “love” them)! In some ways, the sheep
became the shepherd’s family. They were his constant companions. The sheep only would follow
the voice of their shepherd. They would not follow another person. The bond between the shepherd
and the sheep was very strong and real.
Jesus is our shepherd! Jesus sticks with us no matter what. He is committed to caring for us and
leading us. Jesus comes and finds us when we are lost and afraid. Jesus will keep looking for us
until he finds us. However, do we have the same strong bond with Jesus as the sheep have with
their shepherd? Do we recognize Jesus’ voice when he calls us? Do we listen for his voice? Do we
trust that Jesus will protect us at all costs?
Today may we take time to thank Jesus for loving us so deeply. May we also thank Jesus for his
tender care and protection. Jesus is our shepherd! We can depend on him always!
God bless. Have a blessed day.