Some years ago, on a Jesuit high school service trip to the highlands of Peru, our group experienced first-hand the reality of shepherds and sheep. We learned that younger kids walked over the hillsides with their grazing sheep during the day. At night, an older man led the sheep into a stone pen. This shepherd laid down across the entrance to this stone pen: he literally became the “sheepgate.” Anyone trying to come in would literally have to climb over his body to get to the sheep.
Today’s gospel reminds us that Jesus is the “gate” for each of us. He literally lays down his life for our spiritual health and personal safety. What confidence this brings as we rush about at home and work and around our community. Further, as Jesus has done for us, so we are invited to accomplish for one another…in our personal outreach and care for one another and for each of the communities to which we belong. For me, what will this look like today?
—The Jesuit Prayer Team