Jesus calls himself a good shepherd and a gate for the sheep - Catholic Courier
(Illustration by Linda Jeanne Rivers)

(Illustration by Linda Jeanne Rivers)

Jesus calls himself a good shepherd and a gate for the sheep

Children’s Story: Jesus calls himself a good shepherd and a gate for the sheep
Bible Accent: Shepherds and sheep
Saint for Today: St. Ursula Ledochowska
Puzzle: True or false

Jesus calls himself a good shepherd and a gate for the sheep

One day, when Jesus and the apostles were in Jerusalem, they walked by a man who was born blind.

Jesus used his saliva to moisten some dirt to make a clay that he spread on the man’s eyes. He told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. The man did so, and when he came back, he was able to see.

The man’s neighbors, who knew he was blind and now could see, brought him before the Pharisees.

Some of the Pharisees said Jesus was sinful and not from God because he had healed the man on the Sabbath when no work was to be done. Other Pharisees said that a sinful man could not do such signs.

The Pharisees questioned the man. They did not believe that he had been blind. They only believed once the man’s parents came and confirmed it.

“If he is a sinner, I do not know,” the man said of Jesus. “One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see. … If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything.”

The Pharisees became angry and threw him out.

Jesus approached the man.

“Do you believe in the Son of Man?” he asked.

“Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” the man replied.

“You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he,” Jesus answered.

“I do believe, Lord,” the man said as he worshiped Jesus.

“Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them,” Jesus said to the Pharisees.

“I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture,” Jesus continued. “A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

The Pharisees again disagreed about Jesus because of his words.

“He is possessed and out of his mind; why listen to him?” many of them said.

“These are not the words of one possessed; surely a demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?” others countered.

READ MORE ABOUT IT:

John 9 & 10

Q&A

1. How did Jesus cure the blind man?

2. What did Jesus refer to himself as?

ESSAY: Have you ever had a hard time getting someone to believe you?

Bible Accent: Shepherds and sheep

Why did Jesus sometimes refer to shepherds and sheep when talking to the people?

Since tending sheep was common in biblical times, he knew people would understand if he used images of shepherds and sheep when he wanted to tell them something important.

For example, in Luke 15, Jesus told the parable of the lost sheep to explain that he came to call sinners to repentance but not the righteous.

“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the 99 in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy,” Jesus said. “In just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who have no need of repentance.”

And in John 21, we read that the resurrected Jesus appeared to some of his followers. One of those times, he appeared to Peter and some other followers, who were fishing.

Jesus wanted Peter to do something for him after he returned to heaven.

“Feed my lambs. … Tend my sheep,” Jesus said in referring to his followers.

Saint for Today: St. Ursula Ledochowska

Julia Maria Ledochowska was born into a distinguished Polish family in Austria in 1865. She entered an Ursuline convent in Poland at age 21, taking the name Maria Ursula of Jesus.

She taught in a girls’ school for 20 years and in 1907 went to St. Petersburg, Russia, to supervise a new school. She was expelled from Russisa at the beginning of World War I, spent the war in Sweden and returned to Poland in 1920.

In 1923, she founded the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus. As the order expanded, the Vatican asked her to live in Rome, where she died in 1939.

We remember her on May 29.

Puzzle

Using the hints provided, put a T next to the sentences that are true and an F next to the ones that are false. Put the correct answer at the end of the false sentences.

1. ___ The blind man thought Jesus was a rabbi. _______ (John 9:17)

2. ___ Some people at the Temple wanted to stone Jesus. _______ (John 10:33)

3. ___ The apostles asked if the man was born blind because of sin. _______ (John 9:2)

4. ___ The blind man’s parents were afraid to answer the Pharisees’ questions. _______ (John 9:21-23)

Answers: 1. F/prophet; 2. T; 3. T; 4. T

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