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The Hundredth Lamb

Year_of_MercyWhat does the logo of the Jubilee Year of Mercy try to say to us?
The logo and the motto of the Jubilee Year of Mercy summarize what the year is all about. The motto “Merciful Like the Father” invites us to follow the example of the Father, who asks us not to judge or condemn but to forgive and to love without measure.
The figure of the shepherd bearing the lamb on his shoulders is one of the earliest images of Christ—found in the Catacombs. It reminds us that the Son—himself the Lamb of God—embraces the lost soul upon his shoulders and carries us to redemption.
The Good Shepherd leaves the ninety-nine in the flock to save the one—the hundredth lamb. Christ’s message is counter-intuitive to our world today, where it’s more acceptable to sacrifice the one for the good of the many.
The lamb is us.
Notice how, in the logo, the Good Shepherd’s eyes merge with those of humanity? Christ sees with the eyes of Adam, and Adam with the eyes of Christ. Christ is the new Adam, and in his gaze we recognize the love of the Father.
Even the almond shape of the image is important. It calls to mind the two natures of Christ—divine and human. The three concentric ovals, growing lighter as they move outward, symbolize how Christ carries humanity out of the night of sin and death. The darker color shows how unfathomable the love of the Father is. He shows mercy to us all.
Our prayer today:

Merciful Jesus, you know we are little lost lambs and you lift us in your love.
Keep us in your protection always.

Peter W. Yaremko, a former journalist, is the owner of Executive Media, Inc. and is a specialist in executive communications. He attends St. Peter the Apostle Church in Provincetown, Massachusetts and blogs at

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