Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Shepherd King

On Christ the King Sunday, the reading presented from Ezekiel 34, in Catholic, Episcopal and Lutheran churches worldwide, reminds us that the term “shepherd” is intended as another image for king in the ancient Near East. The shepherd image for David derives from a common metaphor for rulers in the ancient Near East. It suggested the care, concern, and protection that a shepherd was to provide his flock of people. When the kings of Israel prove to be bad shepherds, Ezekiel declares that the Lord will assume the role of shepherd.

The image of a people, harassed and helpless without a shepherd, present in Matthew 9:36; 25:32; 26:31; Mark 6:34 and 14:27 is absent from Luke. Instead, Luke tells us, “in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night." Something for us to think about as the Advent season arrives.

Copyrighted 2005


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