Last week I was not on the site here, because I attended the annual assembly of the Precious Blood Kansas City Province, our last assembly before the “new creation” of the merge.

The four short verses of the Gospel which is not a resurrection story, perhaps follows from the three questions Jesus asks Peter from last Sunday, when Jesus tells Peter to feed and tend the flock.

The pastoral care imageries extended here to cover knowledge, life, and protection of the flock. Knowledge, of course, in the Biblical context almost always stands for an authentic knowing through intimate relationship, here a call and response of shepherd and flock.

Interwoven with this pastoral imagery is a teaching about the Father and the Son as intimate relationship, that borders on the nuptial.

The three prayers of this Sunday’s liturgy build on the relationship between flock and shepherd. The Communion Prayer notes “the sheep you have redeemed by the Precious Blood of your Son.”

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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