MANILA, May 23, 2014 – In humility, believers should learn how to love others “beyond imperfection,” says a bishop.
“One must be humble enough to stoop down to lift another, to love beyond imperfection,” said Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona during the homily of a concelebrated mass at 5:00 p.m. on May 12 at the Archbishop’s residence.
Explaining that this example of unconditional love comes from Jesus, the Good Shepherd, he said that aside from being obedient sheep who listened to the voice of the shepherd, believers are also encouraged to “shepherd other people.”
“To be a faithful and obedient sheep is not enough,” Tirona said, adding that the urgent call is to “carry the image of the Good Shepherd in our hearts.”
Tirona went on to enumerate the qualities of a good shepherd, saying that good shepherds protect their sheep, have “a relationship with [them], are wiling to die for [them], and stoop down to lift the sheep when they are weak.”
Jesus gave the example, he explained, of the good shepherd who leaves his flock to look for the lost sheep.
As background, Tirona talked about the origin of the “image of the Good Shepherd”, which despite being very Biblical, is a concept foreign to Filipinos for whom sheep are not part of daily life.
According to him, Jesus loved to use the image of a shepherd because being a shepherd was “part of their culture”. Thus, many people could relate to him.
Tirona also called on the faithful to recognize that man is “spiritually enriched by the love of God” with Jesus, the Good Shepherd as his source of joy. (Natalie Hazel Quimlat)