Good Shepherd Sunday
Scripture Reading: John 10:11-18
The fourth Sunday of Easter is known as Good Shepherd Sunday. It is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Introducing Himself as the Good Shepherd of His flock, Jesus made clear the following in today’s gospel. 1) He knows His sheep and His sheep hear His voice. 2) He protects His sheep by placing them in the loving Hands of His Mighty Father. Without Him to guide us and protect us, we are easy prey for the spiritual wolves of this world. Jesus adds two more roles to those of the Good Shepherd. He goes in search of stray lambs and heals the sick ones. Jesus heals the wounds of our souls by the Sacrament of Reconciliation and strengthens us in illness and old age by the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. 3) Jesus dies for His sheep. Just as the shepherds of ancient days protected their sheep from wild animals and thieves by risking their own lives, so Jesus died in expiation for the sins of all people.
Beloved in Christ, let us become good shepherds and good sheep. Whoever is entrusted with the care of others is a shepherd. We become good shepherds by loving those entrusted to us, praying for them, spending our time and talents for their welfare, and guarding them from physical and spiritual dangers. Let us be good sheep in the fold of Jesus. Let us cooperate with our pastors by giving them positive suggestions for the welfare of the parish, encouraging them in their duties, occasionally correcting them with constructive criticism and by praying for them. Let us also cooperate in the activities of various councils, ministries and parish associations.
A soldier dying on a Korean battlefield asked for a priest. The medic could not find one. A wounded man lying nearby heard the request and said, “I am a priest.” The medic turned to the speaker and saw his condition, which was as bad as that of the other. “It will kill you if you move,” he warned. But the wounded chaplain replied, “The life of a man’s soul is worth more than a few hours of my life.” He then crawled to the dying soldier, heard his confession, gave him absolution and the two-died hand in hand. Beloved in Christ, let us pray for vocations to priestly and religious life so that we may have more holy and Spirit-filled shepherds to lead, feed and protect the Catholic community.
Acts 4:8-12; Ps 118:1.8-9.21-23.26.28-29 (R.22); 1 Jn 3:1-2; Accl Jn 10:14; Gosp Jn 10:11-18 FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (B) GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY
1. Take the “Prayer for Vocation” by St. Pope John Paul 11 in DSD, Section A.
Exercise: Spend some time in prayer for priests and bishops.
Meditation: Heb. 5:1-2.