“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Lc 18, 16
The Jesus’ Sheep path of evangelization wants to reach children from 6 to 12 years old. Jesus’ Sheep gets its joy from the presence of the Shepherd who takes care of it, calls it by its name, leads it through green pastures, protects it from evil. His voice reassures it, gives it trust and security. The deepening of its relationship with its shepherd reveals its identity as a child of God. It is the discovery of the grace of his baptism. At this stage, the child learns to grow in alliance with his God.
The Word of God is at the heart of every Jesus’ Sheep meeting.
A meeting is the Word of God heard, proclaimed, welcomed, shared and updated. For each evangelical text, there are three meetings offered: Approaching the Gospel, Evangelical experience, Extension of the experience. These three meetings constitute the three stages of a unique pedagogy which takes its source and its inspiration from the Gospel itself. Meetings are held on a weekly or bi-monthly basis. They last approximately 60 minutes.
The people who accompany the Sheep of Jesus on their spiritual journey have received specific training on spirituality and pedagogy specific to the Movement. They are adults who are concerned with transmitting their faith in Jesus Christ and/or young adults who have been walking through Jesus’ Sheep for several years. They are called “Shepherds”.
The first initiation meetings allow the child to gradually enter the pedagogy of Jesus’ Sheep and to welcome himself as the beloved sheep of his heart. At the end of the preliminaries, he receives a scarf, sign of belonging to the movement.
Along the way with Mary
After a year, the child is welcomed into the heart of Mary. He accepts that She forms Jesus in Him. He learns to know Her, to love Her, to pray to Her. At the end of this training, he receives a statuette of the Virgin Mary, evoking her loving presence and her prayer for her child.
Along the way as faithful Sheep
The child is introduced more intimately into the reciprocal “knowledge” of the Shepherd and his Sheep. He becomes attaches to his Lord and learns to count on Him. The mantle with which he is clothed at the end of this stage is a sign of the maternal tenderness of God who wraps and protects each of his children.
Along the way as missionary Sheep
Transformed by the Word of God, the missionary sheep, by its attachment to its Good Shepherd, learns to bring the love of Jesus to his family, to school, to the parish. The mission is presented as an announcement of the Good News of the Risen Christ. The crucifix of Saint Damien, given at the end of this stage, is the memory.
Along the way like Sheep of light
Following Jesus commits us to others. The child learns in a more specific way to recognize Him in the other, in the suffering, the unloved, the poor. The lantern given at the end of the stage reminds the child of his Christian responsibility to walk in the light and to take it to others.
- The red heart symbolizes the Heart of Jesus, source of living water that quenches the Sheep, and the fire of love that He came to light up on earth.
- The cross is our light and our salvation. Risen from the ground, Jesus draws humanity to Himself.
- The Sheep is stretched towards Love and remains in the radiance of the glorious cross to keep the light of Life.
- Rays of love, tenderness and mercy envelop it and cover the earth called to form a single flock, led by a single Pastor.
- The motto: Come Jesus, tenderness for the earth! is the prayer of the loving sheep who puts its trust in its Good Shepherd and calls with all its strength his presence of life, light and tenderness.
Come Jesus, tenderness for the earth !
Roberto told his classmate: “Come to Jesus’ Sheep, it’s not like catechesis. We hear about Jesus there, but when we go to Jesus’ Sheep, we touch Jesus.”
“The movement has transformed me. I become attentive by listening to the Word of God. Evangelical experiences have allowed me to live the Gospel better. I feel that my Good Shepherd is closer to me. I become another person, cultivation inner silence and worship.”
“Since I go to Jesus’ Sheep meetings, I have more self-confidence. Jesus gives me the strength to be myself.”
“With the Sheep, I learned to put myself in contact with God, to open myself up to God.”
“To be a Sheep of Jesus is to know that there is someone who constantly takes care of us and who watches over us like a Good Shepherd watches over each of his sheep.”
“I feel that Jesus is very present in my life, thanks to the group of the Sheep. This group gives me a taste for the Word of God that I listen to every day. It helps me pray better and I have managed to change my life and my behavior in my family and in my neighborhood.”