The reading today is Good Shepherd passage so let’s look at that imagery from ancient times.
Good Shepherd, fresco, artist unknown, Catacomb of Priscilla
(Click on images for larger view)
Does your idea of Jesus include the image of the Good Shepherd? Paintings and sculpture of this figure date to ancient times and the Catacombs of Rome contain about 150 such images, showing that this was certainly a popular portrayal of Jesus for early Christians.
I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep…
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
John 10:14, 27
When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.
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Jesus as the good shepherd is one of my favorite representations of him. Our priest in his homily told of an experience when he spent a day with a Navajo sheepherder, and learned how hard it is to be a sheepherder. He discussed those sheep that mindlessly follow the crowd, but also the wayward ones who always tried to break away and run off on their own. Once again you wrote a beautiful post. The information about the catacombs was very interesting.
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