GOSPEL, John (10: 11-18)
Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint John
Jesus the Good Shepherd
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18 No one takes[a] it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”
The Gospel of the Lord
We are in the 4th Sunday of Easter, “Sunday of the Good Shepherd”. This Sunday’s theme reflects the readings and prayers that lead us to contemplate Jesus as the Good Shepherd, the one who gives his life for the sheep.
Christ is the model of the true shepherd, who loves his sheep freely and selflessly to the last consequences and renders his service for love and not for money. He wants the sheep to have good life and feel happy. (John 10.19) His priority is the good of the sheep that have been entrusted to him. Therefore, he risks everything for the benefit of the flock and is even willing to lay down his life for the sheep because he loves them. “I lay down my life for my sheep.”
The sheep can trust the Shepherd because they know that he defends His flock. He has no personal interests, but the interests of his flock.
May this Sunday be a sign of the Good Shepherd who “gives his life for his sheep” and that the bread shared this day be with total and loving devotion. May each of us baptized, feel called and committed to his cause and that His accomplishment be ours through participating every Sunday in the Eucharistic miracle.
May we truly be good shepherds, revealing the Kingdom of God in our expressions of affection and mutual attention, especially for the poor and suffering, those of whom the Good Shepherd has a distinct tenderness, and care for.
Let us open our hearts, to the Word of God in which we have just meditated on and promise the Lord to be docile to his voice in order to build his kingdom with enthusiasm.
God, creator and Father, gather all who are scattered and bring them into the unity of one family, so that by adhering to Christ the Good Shepherd, they may enjoy the joy of being your children.