A visitor to the Holy Land reported on an experience with shepherds and sheep that he had while travelling around the country. It was early in the morning and he came upon a sheepfold where, the night before, several shepherds had brought their flocks for safekeeping. During the night the sheep from the different flocks had wandered around the fold and by morning were intermingled with one another. As the shepherds approached the fold, a first shepherd called out, and amazingly, his and only his sheep disengaged from all the others and followed him out of the sheepfold and out into the hills. The same was true for a second shepherd. Only his sheep followed him into the fields. And so it was until all the sheep were with their own shepherds. Each sheep recognized only the voice of its own shepherd and would follow only him. From this, we can understand what Christ means when he says that his sheep recognize his voice and follow him. He means that we who are his disciples will not follow other voices, no matter how loudly or enticingly they call out to us if they are urging us to go in a different direction than His. In our world there are many such voices. They call us to materialism, prejudice against other races, a denial of the dignity of every other person, a refusal to see a human being in the unborn child, and many other ways of life that are different from what Christ teaches us. We must discern those voices and reject them. Only the Lord can lead us to truly good pastures. We must decide to whom we belong and, if it is truly Christ, than test everything and everyone by his voice. As the Lord Himself taught us, we cannot serve two masters. In other words we cannot follow two shepherds leading us in different directions. Who is your shepherd?
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