In this Sunday’s gospel Jesus calls himself the good shepherd.
Today is also ANZAC Day.
Jesus lays down his life for his sheep. He is not a ‘hired hand’. He is deeply connected with his ‘sheep’.
His hearers would have known what he meant. In those days, a shepherd had a very close connection to his flock. The numbers were small, he would have known the individual sheep and they would have known him and recognised his voice.
The sheep of course are a symbol of us, Jesus’s people.
He lays down his life for us.
On ANZAC Day we remember those who gave of themselves, in service of their country.
Some even giving up their lives in this service.
War of course is in many ways an evil. The huge pain and suffering that so many endure!
The disruption of life and distraction of property.
The psychological harm done to so many!
There is such a thing as a just war. This means that under certain circumstances one can wage war against an unjust oppressor.
The oppressive Nazi regime under Adolph Hitler, can more easily be recognised as such.
It is of course becoming harder to justify proportionality with today’s terrible weapons that can kill so indiscriminately and so widely!
Proportionality means that it is about the greater good and the lesser evil.
It is always important to honour gratefully those who with the noblest of intentions suffered in the defence of others during war.
It is also important that we work tirelessly for peace.
We keep in mind the watchful and loving heart in the person of Jesus, ever there, ever loving, always our good shepherd.