THE NEED FOR A GUIDE
For the first believers, Jesus isn’t just a shepherd, but the true and authentic shepherd. The only leader capable of directing and giving true life to human beings. This faith in Jesus as true shepherd and guide acquires a new actuality in a society as overcrowded as ours is, where people run the risk of losing their own identity and end up dazed by so many voices and advertisements.
Publicity and the media of social communication impose on each person not only the clothes they should wear, the drink they should consume or the song they should listen to. It imposes on us also the habits, customs, ideas, values, life-style and conduct that we should adopt.
The results are obvious. Many are the victims of this «spider-web society». People who live «according to fashion». People who don’t act out of their own initiative. Men and women who seek their small happiness, exerting themselves to have those objects, ideas and conduct that is dictated to them from outside.
Exposed to so many calls and advertisements, we run the risk of not listening now to the voice of one’s own inner self. It’s sad to see people exerting themselves to live a lifestyle ‘imposed’ from without, that symbolizes for them well-being and true happiness.
We Christians believe that only Jesus can be a definitive guide for human beings. Only from him can we learn to live. The Christian is precisely one who, from Jesus, goes about discovering day by day which is the more human way of living.
To follow Jesus as good shepherd is to interiorize the fundamental attitudes which he lived, and to exert ourselves in living them out today from our own originality, carrying on the task of building God’s reign that Jesus began.
But as long as meditation is replaced by TV, inner silence by noise, and the following of one’s own conscience by the blind submission to fashion, it will be hard to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, who can help us to live in the midst of this «consumer society» that consumes it consumers.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf