IS HE IN UNION WITH THE GOOD SHEPHERD, CHRIST?
1. There is only one Good Shepherd.
'I am the Good Shepherd.' There are not two or three Good Shepherds. Only one! The bishops and the Pope, though called also Shepherds, are just the extensions of Christ, the Good Shepherd. To be worthy extensions they must be children of God or brothers of Christ. Or like Christ, they must have the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.
Christ had two titles among others. One is Shepherd, the other is Door. The Good shepherd is also the door. He, alone, can enter through the door. And He, alone, can bring the sheep through the door into the fold. The other shepherds, the bishops and the pope, are not doors; they cannot bring in the sheep through the door. They can, only, go in with Him. The Good Shepherd is both the Shepherd and owner of the sheep. The Bishops, though extensions, are shepherds, but not the owner of the sheep. The bishop does not own his diocese nor the pope the Church. They are mere extensions or stewards. Thus they must act as stewards and not as owners.
2. Christ called Himself the 'Good Shepherd,' because there are bad shepherds called hirelings.
We must all know the difference between the good shepherd and the bad shepherd. Hirelings are shepherds for rent. And there are some who pretend to be shepherds but are in truth thieves, murderers, mercenaries and even wolves.
3. In the past posts we have described St. Thomas' commentaries on the Gospels where we saw the importance of Faith. We saw through the Liturgy the way by which we can distinguish those who have Faith and those who do not have Faith. And we reiterated Pope Benedict's call for all priests and bishops to check if they have Faith.
In today's Gospel, the Liturgy presents to us, again, one who have Faith, the Good Shepherd..... and the other who does not have Faith, the hireling, the thief, the murderer and the wolf.
Since Christ is the only Good Shepherd, only bishops and popes who are like Him can be considered His extensions as 'good' shepherd. These extensions should know and be obedient to all the commands of Christ the Good Shepherd. They must say like Christ, 'I came, not to do my will, but the Will of My Father in heaven.' And the Will of the Father had been expressed in Divine Revelations. He must teach the same to his flock.
St. Thomas adds that; he consoles his flock in times of persecution and martyrdom. The prevalence of persecution and martyrdom today will surely test the mettle of our bishops and pope.
The Gospel gave the unique description of those worthy to be the extensions of the Good Shepherd; 'he gives his life for his sheep.'
Before a 'good' shepherd can give up his life for his sheep, he must undergo three degrees of 'giving up.' First, he must be able to give up his outward possessions and use them for the spiritual benefit of his sheep. This is the easiest. He cannot give up his life unless this first is given up. Secondly, he must be able to give up the external expression of affections to be able to concentrate saving his sheep. This means giving up one's emotional attachments to his loved ones after giving up his human affections towards his charismatic friends, Jewish friends, lesbian friends and protestant friends. Thirdly, he must be able to give us his personal, individual ideas, opinions and specially his private desire to establish an alternative protestant sect in place of the Apostolic, Catholic Church. The inability to give up this third is a sign that the two previous one had not been given up; in short, he had given up nothing.
If he cannot give these up how can he give up his life for his sheep....without which he cannot be a 'good' shepherd.
Pope Benedict proved himself to be a true extension of Christ thus he is a Good Shepherd. As a theologian with many ideas he used all his learning to clarify the Will of God. He only taught the teachings of Christ and interpreted it exclusively from the Fathers of the Church which he gave during his audiences. He repeated these teachings many times while at the same time warning us of hirelings, thieves, mercenaries and wolves.
And he consoled the persecuted Church by teaching them how to use their sufferings to reach the perfection of Charity wherever they were, quoting Origen's 'Exhortation on Martyrdom.'
5. Who are the hirelings.
They are shepherds for hire; like the Pharisees who taught the commands of God but, themselves, did not obey them. There is an advantage in this in that teaching listeners all the commands of God is enough for the hearers to be able to make an act of Faith. The hirelings do the shepherd's external job by just watching the sheep as watching a ball game. And this for money or other compensations or to enjoy the privileges of their positions as bishops and cardinals. This is not good enough, for Christ demanded that the righteousness of bishops, cardinals and popes should surpass that of the Pharisees. Most of our bishops, cardinals and sad to say, the present pope, are not even teaching the complete commands of God; so they are inferior to the Pharisees. Even hirelings are a rare find these days.
6. Then there are the thieves. They, first, steal souls from the Catholic Church. Then, they steal properties from communities like ordinary thieves. Though other religions try to steal from the Catholic Church, the protestants are the biggest thieves because there is some similarities between their church and the Catholic Church so it is easy to attract prospective victims. These thieves pose like bishops, cardinals and popes with all the liturgical regalia to easier deceive the sheep. They are not pagans but protestant oriented heretics. They are a conglomeration of a new protestant denomination being propagated within the church; combining Pelagian, modernist and pagan religion thus having some semblance to Catholicism but definitely not Catholic. Their common denominator is 'do what you want,' the primordial 'original sin,' brought back to life in its fullness.
They have joined together with one slogan; the old Catholic Church is dead and is unable to handle the vicissitudes of modern times. Bury her and build a new church that is acceptable to every man and race.
We saw this during the last Bishop's Synod 2014. The one third who proposed adultery and sodomy are neither shepherds nor hirelings. They were thieves stealing Catholic souls to join the new protestant denomination started in Argentina by Pope Francis and being introduced by one third of the Bishops and cardinals in the Synod. The new denomination's name is church of compassion and mercy.
Whole nations, orders of priests, entire bishop's conferences and cardinals are being stolen from the Church and introduced into this new sect. Because of the present existing crisis of Faith, everyone is transferring to this new man- made church. Both Cardinal Tagle of Manila as part of the School of Bologna and Bishop Soc Villegas, president of the Bishop's conference, as featured in the website news of the CBCP, believe that the Catholic Church before Vatican II is 'an authoritative sick institution' and the new man-made church of Bergoglio should be the new church. And presenting Bergoglio as an example of a good shepherd.
None of these bishops have proven that this new protestant denomination is superior to the old Catholic Church; they could not make a comparison because most of them know nothing about the Catholic Church.
7. The wolves.
And finally, Christ describes those who are wolves. St. Thomas described this bishops, cardinal and possible anti-pope as those who grab the sheep by the neck, a symbol of those who tempt others to commit adultery. This was what was, precisely, proposed during the last Bishop's Synod whence Pope Francis with one third of the cardinals and bishops proposed that Catholics be allowed to commit adultery with free easy annulment of previous marriages; i.e., like allowing the devil (the wolf) to grab the sheep by the neck, as described by St.Thomas of Aquinas.
8. On this Good Shepherd Sunday, Holy Mother the Church is reminding us that Christ warned us that there is a good shepherd who knows his sheep and whose sheep knows his voice. He will lead the sheep to the door of Faith and eternal life.
But that there is also a hireling, a thief and a wolf pretending to be shepherd who cannot lead anyone inside the door and eternal life. We must find out if our pastors or shepherds are good or bad. Our eternal life could depend on it.
But what if we see our shepherds are not even hirelings but thieves and wolves. What do we do? Transfer to the true shepherds or at least to the hirelings. If you cannot do this, just go back to the commandments of Christ and its correct interpretation from the Fathers of the Church.....because those were your previous good shepherds. Or recall the lessons taught by one proven faithful extension of the Good Shepherd, Pope Benedict. And you will be in good hands.