The Good Shepherd gathers His flock within His loving mercy
Reflections on the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (April 22, 2018): ACTS 4:8-12, PS 118:1,8-9,21-23,26,28,29, 1JN 3:1-2, JN 10:11-18
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Seeing Christ as the Good Shepherd is one of the most comforting and familiar images in Christian history.
In the Gospel reading for today we hear Jesus tell His disciples just what it means for a shepherd to be called good. First, He is willing to die for His flock, His people. Second, He has a personal relationship with each of them. The sheep recognize the Good Shepherd’s concern and love and depend on Him – even as the flock continues to grow. “I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know Me… and I will lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear My voice, and here will be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:14-16).
Christ wants every person in every generation to accept His gift of salvation. Both Jews and Gentiles, people of all nations are invited to be members of His flock. Our Good Shepherd did die for us and He wants us to understand that our welfare on earth and our life in heaven matter to Him far beyond our mortal understanding. Let us appreciate our Savior’s generous mercy. And let us use our faith to reveal His loving call to others.