Christ is our Savior and our Shepherd, our Master and our model
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 “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Our Lord wants us to trust Him...
Good Shepherd Sunday that is most appropriately part of the Easter season. We hear our Savior refer to Himself in the Gospel as the Shepherd of His people. He knows the path we must travel and how He will shield us so that we may arrive safely in our heavenly home. Christ did not merely know the dangers we face to our bodies and souls, our hearts and our minds. He came to help us recognize and confront them, and then handle them as the grace-filled children of God that we are.
In his first letter to some of the earliest Christian communities, St. Peter reminded them that Jesus is both our Redeemer and the example of how we should live. “He Himself bore our sins in His body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls” (1 Peter 2:24-25). Jesus is indeed our leader, one who knows all our suffering and struggles because He endured them as well. The Son of God asks a great deal of us. He expects each one of us to turn away from the self-centered life we know so well. That’s the life that focuses on my preferences, my comfort, my success. Rather, our Lord wants us to trust Him to give us more that we could ever dream of having and, very likely, not what we would choose for ourselves. Instead, He wants us to find joy, peace, and fulfillment by following in His footsteps and looking after the welfare of others, especially the most vulnerable. That is what Christ does for us – and that is the great gift we share with Him, by sharing our lives and our blessings with all we meet. We, too, can help shepherd others into His fold.
Suggested missionary action: We can pray for those in the Pope’s missions today who lead and guide those in need, especially during this recent pandemic. And we can make a commitment to offering ongoing material assistance for their efforts.