Gospel Reflections

4th Sunday of Easter

John 10:1-10

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Angele Lewis

Published: May 07, 2017

Read John 10:1-10

Jesus said: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and... Read More…

This weekend's liturgical readings mark a shift from Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances to selections that feature the teachings of Jesus on discipleship. This fourth Sunday of Easter which is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday identifies us as SHEEP and Jesus as our GOOD SHEPHERD.

I do not know about you, but I have very little experience with sheep. So I sent a message on "Google" for information on SHEEP.  I found the following characteristics: foolish, slow to learn, unattractive, demanding, stubborn, strong, straying, unpredictable, restless, dependent and the same worldwide. I do not like being compared to sheep, even if Jesus is the shepherd! However, after pondering further, I have to admit that I have been guilty of "sheep-ness" probably more times than I care to admit. And I doubt if I am alone in having some characteristics like sheep.

Since in many ways we “sheep” are also called to be SHEPHERDS, I continued my “Google” research. A shepherd is patient with his sheep, knows his sheep, values his sheep, loves his sheep, feeds his sheep, leads his sheep, speaks well of his sheep, gives rest to his sheep, and perseveres with his sheep. This is a very good description of Jesus’ relationship with each of us. Developing these characteristics takes a life-long relationship between the sheep and the shepherd.  This relationship begins in the now moment and continues into eternity.

Jesus as the Shepherd knows our sinfulness (sheep-ness) and still loves us.  He calls us to follow him (the Good Shepherd) in a radical way of living in His kingdom now and in eternity.  In fact, Jesus promises to "shepherd" us and not to abandon us. The Good Shepherd wants and desires to have an "alive" relationship with each of us. And he wants us to “reach out and touch others” in the same way that He does – those who are outcasts, sinners, and lost.  We do this by acting as shepherds do…

Discipleship is like training for a sport. It is rarely easy and is a daily exercise in fidelity. We are called to lives of holiness by putting our faith into action. We do this by listening to the Good Shepherd and putting Jesus' words and deeds into action. We are in "good hands" with Jesus.




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