Commentary on the Gospel of
There is a lot going on in today’s Gospel reading that has pretty deep meaning and implication for the Christian faith, including things about the relationship between Jesus and God the Father, crucifixion and resurrection, and whether Jesus’ message was meant for Gentiles or only Jews.
While all of that is interesting, what is really sticking in my mind is a question: “What are we invested in?” The example of a hired hand who runs away at any sign of danger grabs my attention. He runs away, and why shouldn’t he? He has no real investment in what happens, no deep connection that would cause him to stay.
I think asking ourselves what we are invested in is really important because otherwise we’ll always just be running away from things and avoiding any type of conflict, won’t we?
What do I care about enough to take some risk or possibly face some pushback, disagreement, or negative consequences? I’m not talking about literally laying down one’s life here, because of the rarity of those situations, but those times in everyday life where it would just be easier to go along to get along. I sit in plenty of meetings where I might disagree with a decision or have a different opinion than someone else. When should I speak up, what issues are important enough to me, that I care enough about, to risk the tension that might ensue?
The Good Shepherd is invested enough in us to lay down his life. What are we invested in enough to take the risks that a hired hand, without a deep investment or commitment, isn’t willing to take?