I have a little plaque at home, which I keep by the computer, of the painting by Bernhard Plockhorst of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. It is one of my favourite depictions of Jesus because it makes me think that he loves animals even though I know he was using sheep as a symbol. Every time I get a prayer request for the animals (over at the LJ location), I would like to feel able to not only implore Our Lady and my favourite saints to heal the afflicted pets but also to ask our Lord Jesus to step in and alleviate the suffering. I guess I am feeling very distant from the 'God the father' part of the holy Trinity these days as I see and read about so much evil, abuse, torture, misery and disease in this world that it seems impossible to believe that our father in heaven would not put a stop to it rather than let innocents continue to suffer. But this distance is my problem. Hopefully your faith is stronger than mine.
At any rate, I had a desire to post this beautiful painting and to include one of the Bible passages I like concerning Jesus and the sheep using a free computer program I hope you might also find helpful. If you want to read the specific story of the lost sheep, go to Luke, Chapter 15. John 10: 1-18
---• Taken from the free Digital Catholic Bible program for the computer and other devices, with versions in English, Spanish and Latin.
Amen, amen I say to you: He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber.
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
And when he hath let out his own sheep, he goeth before them: and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice.
But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers.
This proverb Jesus spoke to them. But they understood not what he spoke to them.
Jesus therefore said to them again: Amen, amen I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
All others, as many as have come, are thieves and robbers: and the sheep heard them not.
I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved: and he shall go in, and go out, and shall find pastures.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep.
But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth: and the wolf catcheth, and scattereth the sheep:
And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me.
As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep.
And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.
Therefore doth the Father love me: because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.
No man taketh it away from me: but I lay it down of myself, and I have power to lay it down: and I have power to take it up again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
--- • Image source