“I am the Good Shepherd; I know my own, and my own know me (John 10:14). On this day when we celebrate the Good Shepherd Sunday, an interesting story I read in the book, Song of the bird by Fr Tony De Mello of blessed memory on “Knowing Christ” comes to mind. The dialogue between a recent convert and an unbelieving friend was presented thus: “So you have been converted to Christ?” “Yes.” Then you must know a great deal about him. Tell me: what country was he born in?”. I don’t know.” ” What was his age when he died?” “I don’t know.” “How many sermons did he preach?” I don’t know.” You certainly know very little for a man who claims to be converted to Christ!”

“You are right”, said the recent convert to the unbelieving friend. “I am ashamed at how little I know about him. But this much I know: Three years ago I was a drunkard. I was in debt. My family was falling apart. My wife and children would dread my coming home each day. Now, I have given up drink; we are out debt; ours is a happy home. All this Christ has done. This much I know of him!”

To really know is to be transformed by what one knows (Fr Tony De Mello).

True knowledge is therefore experiential. This can be easily understood from the etymology in Greek. The word “to know” (“ginosko”_ in Greek) means “to feel” or “to understand.” The word “to follow” (“akoloutheo” in Greek means: ” to be in the same way with”). This implies that Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd feels for and with you. He is aware of He understands and is very much aware of every situation of yours. In order to be a good follower or disciple, you have to be docile and attentive, so as to be on the same page with him. These are the qualities of a good follower that will lead to a transformative knowledge that saves. Are you therefore doing your best to be on the same page with Jesus Christ, the Good shepherd?

One practical way of being on the same page with Jesus is to join in prayers for an increase in genuine vocations to the ministry of the priesthood and religious vocations on this World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Closely associated with this good work is to donate generously to the Priest’s Training Fund Collection as has been directed by Archdiocese of Westminster. As you carry out these noble acts joyfully, may you experience the protection of shepherd and guardian of your soul (1 Peter 2:25) through Christ Our Lord. Amen