On this Sunday when we recall the Good Shepherd, let us entrust ourselves to Him
Reflections on the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (April 25, 2021): ACTS 4:8-12; PS 118,1,8-9,21-23,26,28,29; 1 JN 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.
The Father and the Son, one with the Holy Spirit, care about the welfare of each and every person. And that extends to the offering of Christ’s life.
On this Fourth Sunday of Easter, often called Good Shepherd Sunday, Jesus announces to His disciples that He is, in truth, the Good Shepherd. The idea of a good shepherd caring for his flock was well know in the Old Testament. However, it is only when Jesus claims the role for Himself does He make the point that a good shepherd is far more than a worker simply hired to tend sheep. If a wolf threatened the sheep someone who is paid would run away to save himself. Instead, a good shepherd would willingly give up his life to protect the sheep. Christ then speaks about His relationship with His flock, His people, and with His Father. “I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; 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 there will be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:14-16).
Our Lord wants His followers to understand the depth of His attachment to those who believe in Him. More than that, Jesus wants them to appreciate the Father’s love for Him is joined with His complete obedience by giving up His life for them. The Father and the Son, one with the Holy Spirit, care about the welfare of each and every person. And that extends to the offering of Christ’s life. He stretched Himself on the altar of sacrifice as the true Lamb of God. He alone is capable of rescuing us from the destruction of sin and death. As St. Peter says in the first reading, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12). The whole idea of our Savior as Good Shepherd is comforting. That is especially so when we realize that Christ wants to know us and us to know Him in the same way that He and the Father know each other. We are invited to share in the profound love and intimacy that exist between the divine persons of the Blessed Trinity. We should remember this if we ever feel as that we have strayed or been abandoned. The Good Shepherd always keeps watch over His sheep.