Fourth Sunday of Easter

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Acts 2:14A, 36-41
1 Peter 2:20B-25.
John 10:1-10.

The Good Shepherd

This Sunday is called Good Shepherd Sunday. It reminds us that we are lead to the gate of salvation by Jesus, our Good Shepherd.

In the first reading, Peter calls all to conversion and in the second reading we are told that when we stray, we can return to the Lord, the Good Shepherd. These two readings are a perfect lead to the gospel about the Good Shepherd who cares for the sheep and the sheep stay with the shepherd. The good shepherd knows the sheep and the sheep recognize the voice of the shepherd and follow.

When we read the Gospel of John, we frequently find the Pharisees failing to accept Jesus and his teaching and good works. They can be identified as the “thieves and robbers” of the gospel story because they often lead others astray when they reject the truth from Jesus. Jesus continually tells his followers that if they accept his way, they will find abundant life.

Our good shepherd deeply desires that many other sheep should come to identify themselves with him. “There are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well.” The ultimate goal is that “there will be only one flock and one shepherd” so that all people will be united together with their God. This is what we mean when we talk about the Kingdom of God – that all may be one with God.

We know that we are far from reaching this goal. We live in a world where divisiveness is rife. We are surrounded by discrimination, hatred, violence, prejudice and all other kinds of negative behavior. We may not be able to turn the world around but we can make a difference in our small part of the world. Instead of these negative actions, we can bring positive energy that comes from our ever-present and loving God. Instead of hatred, we can show love. Instead of violence, we can show kindness and charity, Instead of prejudice, we can be inclusive by welcoming everyone. Instead of discrimination, we can offer acceptance to people of all races, genders, and religions. The choice to follow the Shepherd, or not is ours!

We are told in the gospel that Jesus came so, “that they may have life and have it to the full.” We will never experience fullness of life if we are narrow and negative about any of God’s people.

How can you share God’s presence to all the people you meet?

What is one specific action you can do to be more positive in interacting with others?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Mary Ann King says:

    The one and most often used action I use when interacting with others is to smile!
    A smile is worth a thousand words.


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