June 14, 2024

The Easter season has been reiterating on the theme of shepherding.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So, when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.
I will lay down my life for the sheep. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.” (John 10:11-18)
The apostles, especially Peter, testified their apostolate of healing did not come from their power but in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean. They reiterated the rejection of Jesus did not end in rejection and vain but Jesus resurrected and he became the cornerstone. More importantly, it is in Jesus Christ that salvation happened, happens, and will happen.
The shepherding of the apostles is not a sheer shepherding by themselves but Jesus being present in their leadership that is why the same suffering, difficulty, persecution, and rejection will happen to them. But at least there is the big assurance of a faithful companion and the promises will end in vain and meaninglessness.
The shepherding in Jesus is a shepherding of hope and quality results. We need to shepherd but shepherding in the manner and ways of Jesus.
Sometimes, we gauge a successful leader by human outputs, words, and ideas. Failure of shepherding happens in pride when leaders trust solely in their human capacity and worse, when they neglect and ignore God in their successes.
I recall a famous local leader who always spoke about his projects and successes as his sole effort and work. One day, he was caught unaware and all his dreams and projects collapsed in a blink of an eye.
It is better to trust in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. (Psalm 118:8-9)
Jesus is the Good Shepherd whom we can always examine our ways in order to become ways of God and not sheer ways of man.
Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29)
Words and works must go together. But it will bear fruit when Jesus becomes the spoken word and the companion in the work.
The shepherding in Jesus is not a competition but collaboration and complementariness.
The shepherding in Jesus is the capacity to look for people’s interest and good over one’s vested and personal interest. I recall one political campaign when a candidate was so smart and confident announcing his background and purpose, “Umibotos kayo tapnu waday menlagbowak!” (“Vote for me so that I will have an office to earn for a living.”)
I was sad to hear the message from the candidate and yet the people were applauding for him. The people who understood what public service meant were also saddened. It was sadder when he won the political race. It is not surprising nowadays to see public officials who are no longer public servants and public office to serve the public but personal interest.
The Good Shepherd says it clearly, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for others.” (John 15:13) The shepherding in Jesus is the capacity to be selfless.

Just in case you want to ponder more on my reflections about life, faith, family, and faith, you turn on to 99.9 Country. We ponder through music. Request for my original song compositions and dedicate them to your friends at 0969-040-1529. You may request Home, Drug Free, Moving Forward Together, Hand in Hand Montanosa, Vocation Song, Youth Arise Season of Creation, Cordillera, Seven Last Words, and others.

I join my friends and family in thanking God for the gift of life: Donald Castaneda, Gilbert Castaneda, Franz Dan Castaneda, Tristan Castaneda, Charlene Buteng, Ferlyne Pay-ong, and Dandan Ngagan.
Happy birthday and God bless you more.
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