On this Good Shepherd Sunday, let us thank our Lord for caring for us, tending to our wants, and keeping us close to Him
Reflections on the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (May 8, 2022): ACTS 13:14,43-52; PS 100:1-2,3,5; REV 7:9,14-17; JN 10:27-30
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
For Christ, the Good Shepherd, each of us matters very deeply to Him. He makes every effort to keep us from straying from Him.
This Sunday we are reminded that Jesus is our Savior; that He protects us in the same dedicated way that a shepherd looks after His flock. In the Gospels we hear Christ talk about shepherds and refer to Himself that way on several occasions. Just before the reading for today, He has been challenged yet again by some who say they want Him to speak more plainly -- to proclaim whether or not He is the Messiah. But He knows how unwilling certain religious leaders and others are to understand Him. Those who believe in Him do grasp what He says. “Jesus said: ‘My sheep hear My voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of My hand’” (John 10:27-28). Our Lord wants us to know that we must have an open heart and mind in order to comprehend His message of mercy. He goes on to assure all who are listening that He and His Father are one. It is because He is the Son of God that He can assure those who accept and follow Him that they will have eternal life. It is also true, however, that Jesus spoke these words before His Crucifixion. For many people then, and for us now, His words become much clearer in the light of His Resurrection. We recognize not only the compassion that lead the Son of God and Son of Man to give up His life for us, but also the power that belongs to Him as King of the Universe.
For Christ, the Good Shepherd, each of us matters very deeply to Him. He makes every effort to keep us from straying from Him. And, if we do get lost, He will be there to guide us back while we are on earth -- and finally, bring us to heaven. It can be a help and comfort to contemplate the response we use for Psalm 100 today: “We are His people, the sheep of His flock.” Our Lord never willingly lets go of anyone. He loves us and calls us to His side. It is only if we turn away from His side or pull away from His hand by pursuing our own way rather than His that we risk losing all He has to offer us. Our Shepherd became the sacrificial Lamb on our behalf. His cross was His altar where He let His blood be shed to save us from evil and from death. Only in Christ can we find everlasting life and love.