First Reading Acts of the Apostles 4:8-12 Second Reading 1 John 3:1-2
Gospel John 10:11-18 Intention: 2015 Graduates
Says Jesus: “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me!” Jesus’ identification as the good shepherd is read on this Sunday in all three of the cycle of readings. No wonder this is called Good Shepherd Sunday. It is also designated World Day of Prayer for Vocations. There are frequent references in Scripture to sheep. Just the other morning we heard “Like a sheep he was led to slaughter and as a lamb before the shearers is silent. In Handel’s “Messiah” we sing “Like sheep we have gone astray.” Depictions of the Good Shepherd are among the earliest in church art. One of the earliest paintings of Christ in the Roman catacombs represents him as carrying an injured sheep on his shoulders. It was, and remains, an endearing and intimate image of a loving relationship – nurturing, life-giving, transforming, empowering.
The image of the Good Shepherd seems to be a favorite of Pope Francis. One that he not only speaks about but a likeness he models for clergy and laity alike. He embraces people with God’s love and challenges cardinals, bishops, priests and deacons to imitate the Good Shepherd in their ministry. At the washing of feet on Holy Thursday his action overwhelmed Catholics, Christians and non-Christians – men and women – even though technically church law says he should not be washing women’s feet. His words and actions reinforce the message: There’s equality. We’re all one. In Jesus, there’s no male or female, Jew or Greek, slave or free, rich or poor — we’re all one. Francis demonstrates simplicity by his manner of life. He shows us what’s important. He shares his goods. He lives in a simple apartment. He takes the bus like he did when he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires. He cooks his own meals. [Read more…] about Fourth Sunday of Easter 2015Continue Reading