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Thursday, 22 April 2021 09:42

Celebrating At Home - Fourth Sunday of Easter

Jesus, true Shepherd

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is often called “Good Shepherd Sunday” because no matter what reading cycle we are in, the Gospel always focusses on the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.

This year, the Gospel reading talks about Jesus as a true shepherd prepared to lay down his life for his sheep. He is not like the hired man who runs away when danger appears. He knows his sheep and one day will gather them all into one flock.

Jesus acts towards us like a good shepherd: feeding, nurturing, defending and even laying down his life for us. Our Good Shepherd is deeply concerned about us, the flock and there is a deep sense of warmth and intimacy in the realisation that Jesus knows each one of us. Like a good shepherd Jesus is the source of life, nourishment, and safety for the sheep.

Any reflection about Jesus as the Good Shepherd also serves as a reminder that shepherding each other in Jesus’ name is part of the vocation of every disciple. We are very used to thinking about Jesus as the Good Shepherd, but we also need to think about being/becoming good shepherds to each other.

One of the very encouraging things about these difficult days is the number of people who have become good shepherds to others, providing safety and security to vulnerable people, supporting health workers, providing meals and companionship.

That is what it means to lay down our lives for each other.

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Celebrating at Home is a Liturgy of the Word centred around the Gospel reading for each Sunday. It includes a reflection on the Gospel and prayers.

It can be used personally or with your family. Parts for all to pray are given in bold print and all the other parts can be shared among those present.

We hope that Celebrating at Home will be a source of nourishment and strength for all who use it.

In the room you decide to use for this prayer you could have a lighted candle, a crucifix and the Bible. These symbols help keep us mindful of the sacredness of our time of prayer and can help us feel connected with our local worshipping communities.