-- G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong with the World
- - - - - - - - - -The Good Shepherd lost none of his sheep when he laid down his life for them; he did not desert them, but kept them safe; he did not abandon them but called them to follow him, leading them by the way of death through the lowlands of this passing world to the pastures of life.
Listen to the shepherd's words: My sheep hear my voice and follow me. Those who have followed him to death will inevitably also follow him to life; his companions in shame will be his companions in honor, just as those who have shared his suffering will share his glory. Where I am, he says, there shall my servant be also. And where is that? Surely in heaven, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Do not be troubled, then, because you must live by faith, nor grow weary because hope is deferred. Your reward is certain; it is preserved for you in him who created all things. You are dead, scripture says, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, you too will appear with him in glory. What was concealed from the farmer at seedtime he will see as he gathers in the sheaves, and the man who plows in sorrow will harvest his crop in gladness.
-- Peter Chrysologus, Sermo 40: PL 52, 314