Mosaic of The Good Shepherd,
Mausoleo di Galla Placidia,
Executed circa 425AD
© Alamy / Christian Art
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice
‘The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice;
I know them and they follow me.
I give them eternal life;
they will never be lost
and no one will ever steal them from me.
The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone,
and no one can steal from the Father.
The Father and I are one.’
Reflection on the Mosaics
Staying with early Christian art (after yesterday’s second- century fresco), we are looking at a mosaic dating to around 425AD that sits over the entrance to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, Italy. It depicts the Good Shepherd, the topic of our Gospel reading today.
We see a young, beardless Christ, depicted as a shepherd watching over his sheep in a relaxed pose. He is wearing a robe of vibrant gold and purple tonalities. These colours commonly represent those of imperial status and royalty. Jesus is twisting his body to comfort a young sheep near him. The shepherd’s staff is in the form of a golden crucifix, signifying Christ’s victory over death. We see on the left four rivers (Pishon, the Gihon, the Tigris and the Euphrates, Gen 2:10-14) emanating from some mountainous rocks.
Jesus says in today’s reading, ‘The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice’. But there is exactly the problem: we don’t always listen to his voice. We get distracted and we are not always open to listen. Listening requires effort. We are asked to read the Gospels, read them again, and reflect on the words, let them sink in, read again, ponder… so that little by little the Word of God may sink in and enable us to hear Christ’s voice loud and clear.
Share this Gospel Reading
Did you like this Gospel reading and art reflection?
Join in the discussion about this artwork & Gospel reading
Readings related to John 10:27-30
Join our community
In addition to receiving our Daily Gospel Reading and Art Reflection, signing up for a free membership allows you to: