Every scrap of Scripture in today’s liturgy contributes to making two points, actually one blended assertion. The Lamb is slain, and God did not intervene to stop that scandalous deed. And God’s flock suffers at the hands of shepherds who abuse it and profit from that abuse, and though God does not appear to intervene there either, God is not pleased, is indignant. But such ignominy is not definitive, does not utter the final word about lambs or bad shepherds. Jesus is the best way for us to see this familiar but awesome rock of our belief. Slain but now alive and with God, he has also shown us in his human life how to treat each other. Unjustly sacrificed but triumphant Lamb and Good Shepherd, he invites us to that same combined role, shows us how to manage it, helps us to do so. Like him, we may pray to have suffering pass us by, but also like him, we are challenged to walk toward it, blaming none and refusing retaliation but allowing the injustice of violence to be seen. God’s kingship or sovereignty with us is made clear, valuable, possible.
Barbara Green, O.P.