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Story: A shepherd was looking after his sheep one day on the side of a deserted road, when suddenly a brand new Porsche screeches to a halt.
The driver, a man dressed in an Armani suit, Cerutti shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses, TAG-Heuer wrist-watch, and a Pierre Cardin tie, gets out and asks the shepherd:
"If I can tell you how many sheep you have, will you give me one of them?"
The shepherd looks at the young man, and then looks at the large flock of grazing sheep and replies:"Okay."
The young man parks the car,
connects his laptop to his mobile,
enters a NASA Webster,
scans the ground using his GPS,
opens a database with 60 Excel tables filled with logarithms and pivot tables, and
then prints out a 150-page report on his
He turns to the shepherd and says, "You have exactly 1,586 sheep here."
Rather surprised the shepherd replies, "That’s correct, you can have your sheep."
The young man takes an animal and puts it in the back of his Porsche.
Just as the man is about to drive off, the shepherd asks him:
"If I guess your profession, will you return my animal to me?"
The young man answers, "Yes, why not?"
The shepherd says, "You are an IT consultant."
"How did you know?" asks the young man.
"Very simple," answers the shepherd.
"Firstly, you came here without being called.
Secondly, you charged me a fee to tell me something I already knew, and
Thirdly, you don’t understand anything about my business.
Now please can I have my dog back?"
We might think looking after sheep is a simple task but it isn’t. Looking after sheep is a highly specialised job. It takes a good Shepherd years to learn his trade – and it is often passed on from father to son.
I would like therefore to offer you some reflections on Jesus’s words in our Gospel reading this morning when he said:
“I am the Good Shepherd.”
What a strange metaphor to use? But I think very apposite in ways:
1. Firstly, because we have some “not too flattering” similarities to sheep.
2. Secondly, Jesus’s love and concern for us is similar to that of a shepherd for his sheep and
3. Thirdly because I think the Church should be like the sheepfold.
1. We have some unflattering similarilities to Sheep
Romney Marsh is well known for its sheep – and I hope we don’t have any shepherds here among us
But when I look at society today, I can see three characteritsics of sheep that I see in folk around us –and in myself too!
1.1. Sheep follow the crowd and don’t think of the consequences.
Story: Did any of you see the Inter Milan AC Milan match last Wednesday. One or two people started throwing burning rockets onto the field because they were incensed with the referee disallowing an Inter goal. Suddenly the field was ablaze with rockets being fired by Inter fans – so much that the match had to be abandoned. With reckless abandon the Inter fans cost their side the match!
Thye folowed the crowd
1.2. Sheep can be pretty stubborn. There is a leader and there is a tail -ender.
Story: Do any of you have children? – Do I need to say more?
1.3. When a sheep trusts someone, it follows him/her without thinking.
Story: I think this was sadly shown on the 18th November 1978 in the Jonestown tragedy, when about 900 followers of
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