6 February, 2023
I am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the sheep. When the hired man, who is not a shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away; so the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them. John 10:11–12
God our Father, we exultantly place our humble oblation of thanksgiving on your altar, bowed low by the fact that we are totally unworthy to merit such supreme love from our creator, who has formed us with his own hands and breathed his spirit into us. How wretched and treacherous we have been to follow the cunning deceptions of evildoers and hurt your infinite goodness. And yet Father, you saw it befitting to send your own begotten and beloved son, Jesus, our Good Shepherd, to sacrifice his life to benefit our salvation.
Jesus fulfilled your plan of redemption for despicable mankind, reconciling us to you and making us co-heirs of an eternal inheritance in your kingdom. He gathered us unto himself, abiding within us and we in him, through the Power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the only means of salvation, because in our weak sinfulness he has displayed his power as our Savior and has willingly offered his life for his chosen ones, his flock, who recognize him as their master and respond to his voice, following the path he takes, thus avoiding the spiritual foes who seek to separate them from the love of Christ.
False prophets are like hired workers, who, not owning the sheep, are not totally committed and make the sheep go astray, luring them away with illusions, so that they fall into the pits and are lost forever. Help us to avert the dangers of falling away from you, Lord, by building up our faith and trust in your tender mercies and saving graces, beholding and acknowledging your ways, abiding by your purpose for our lives and living for the glory of your name as evangelists of the truth, in Jesus’ Name. Amen