Only the Good Shepherd can offer us the abundant life that each of us longs to share
Reflections on the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (May 3, 2020): Acts 2:14,36-41; Psalm 23:1-3,4,5,6; 1PT 2:20-25; JN 10:1-10
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
On this day we call Good Shepherd Sunday, we hear Jesus...
Jesus takes His relationship with us very seriously. He wants us to know that we can trust Him to lead us away from anything that can harm us and toward all that is for our good. On this day we call Good Shepherd Sunday, we hear Jesus tell a parable to demonstrate His devotion to all those who follow Him. “The sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice.… I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:3-4, 10). Just as a good shepherd takes his flock into the best pasture possible and protects them from those who would destroy them, Our Lord guards and guides us. Jesus wanted everyone who listened to Him then – and those who listen today – to appreciate everything He longs to give us.
There are many destructive forces in our world, as we are seeing so vividly with the current pandemic. It is all too easy to lose our way. That is why we need to identify the voice of the one who came to lead us safely through our most troubling days and darkest nights. Only Christ has defended us from sin and death by sacrificing Himself for us. Only Christ continues to point the way to eternal life by showing us how to live and how to love, how to open ourselves to all that is genuine and beautiful. The abundant life He spoke about does not start in heaven, but here and now because our Lord offers us truth and the grace to grasp it. We might even take a little time to carefully reread the Psalm for today, Psalm 23. It is probably the best known and loved of all these memorable songs and prayers, down through the ages: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want …”