“I am the good shepherd […] I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (John 10:14,16)
Jesus presented Himself as the Good Shepherd and his followers were His flock. In the verse mentioned above, He wasn’t only talking about His current followers of that point in time. He was letting them know that many more would add to their number, not only from different locations, different cultures, but also from different times throughout History.
Ever since then, Christianity grew and many people chose to belong to Jesus’s flock. People so diverse, but they all had at least one single characteristic in common, and that’s what allow them all to be part of one single flock: they all follow the same Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Christians and the Church made a lot of mistakes throughout History because they forgot to listen to the Shepherd’s voice. Today, looking back at those times, it is easy to see how wrong they were, but we keep doing the same thing. New mistakes, but the reason is the same: we lose track of the One we should be following.
When Jesus was talking to His disciples shortly before He was arrested, He prayed. In that last prayer that He did in the presence of His disciples, He emphasized this important characteristic about all His followers: their unity.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23)
Our unity is a testimony of God’s love to the world! So may that be our prayer too, that we focus on what makes us part of the flock instead of what makes us different, so we can love each other and respect our differences. If we need to correct each other, let us do it with love, and keep in mind that we are part of the same whole, we are sheeps of the same flock. And we are not in this alone.
Let us not lose track of Jesus so we cannot lose track of the Love that allows us to be as one.