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Thursday, 05 May 2022 09:06

Celebrating At Home - Fourth Sunday of Easter

Shepherd and sheep,
bonds of life and love
(John 10:27-30)

This fourth Sunday of Easter is traditionally known as Good Shepherd Sunday because the Gospel for this Sunday always portrays Jesus as the Good Shepherd. 

Being a shepherd in the time of Jesus was not anything like the large-scale, commercial farming enterprises of today. Then, a shepherd usually had responsibility for about fifteen or twenty sheep whom he accompanied day and night. Both shepherd and sheep got to know each other. The shepherd was responsible for keeping the flock together and safe, for leading it to good pasture, for binding up wounds. The sheep depended on the shepherd for life.

No wonder the image of the Good shepherd became so popular as a description of the relationship between Jesus and his followers.

Today’s Gospel is full of warmth and intimacy in the way it speaks about Jesus’ relationship with us.

The sheep who listen to Jesus belong to (are in relationship with) him. There is a sense of intimacy in the idea that Jesus knows each of the sheep who follow him. He knows them and they follow him because they are bound together by the bond of love.
The sheep have life through their relationship with Jesus, a relationship which brings eternal life, not just after death; the sheep already live the eternal life of God here and now.

This relationship with Jesus and the eternal life it brings can never be lost or snatched away.

We are the gift that the Father gives to Jesus.

And because the Father and Jesus live in deep communion with each other, we, too, are caught up in this enduring communion of love.

This love God has for us makes us part of God’s family: God’s beloved daughters and sons.

Any reflection about Jesus as the Good Shepherd also keeps us mindful that shepherding each other according to the heart of Jesus is part of our vocation as disciples.

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