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Weekly Paragraphs for the Holy Sacrament
By Austin Farrer
Dacre Press, Westminster

CHRIST'S parable of the shepherd escapes us not by being obscure, but by being so plain.  The meaning is so familiar that we overlook it.  What does he say?  A man cares naturally for his own things.  He does not have to make himself care.  The shepherd who has bought the ground and fenced the fold and tended the lambs, whose own the sheep are to keep or to sell, cares for them.  He would run some risk, rather than see them mauled; if he had only a heavy stick in his hand, he would beat off the wolf.  Christ does not boast, as a man among men, that he loves mankind more than any other man, through a higher refinement of virtue.  He says that he cares for us as no one else can, because we are his.  We do not belong to any other man; we belong to him.  His dying for us in this world is the natural effect of his unique care.  It is the act of our Creator.