Gospel Reflection: Fourth Sunday of Easter
Malvern Minute

 

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTERGOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY

APRIL 17, 2016

ALLELUIA

I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;

I know my sheep, and mine know me!

ALLELUIA

 

The Gospel of Saint John 10: 27-30

Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish.

No one can take them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s handThe Father and I are one.”

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

The Church has from the beginning loved the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd initiated in Psalm 23 and continued in Saint John’s Gospel.   Consequently, the Church has a long standing tradition of emphasizing the Good Shepherd during the Easter Season.  Today’s Eucharistic Liturgy brings together the image from the Book of Revelation (Second Reading) of the triumphant faithful sheep in heaven with the image of Jesus, the Shepherd and lamb of God in whose blood the triumphant faithful sheep have been purified through Baptism.

The relationship between Jesus and shepherds begins in the Gospel with the birth of Jesus.  St. Luke’s Gospel (2: 8-20) records that shepherds were the first ones to be notified of the good news of great joy, the birth of the Messiah.  The angels encouraged the Shepherds to go to Bethlehem, and so the shepherds became the first visitors and evangelists of the birth of the Savior.   The child found in the manger, the feeding trough for sheep is the Food that comes down from heaven to feed His flock.

Like His Father, the Good Shepherd (Psalm 23), Jesus too is a Good Shepherding Pastor who knows His sheep and whose voice the sheep recognize and trustingly follow.  The sheep of Jesus’ flock follow Jesus because this shepherd is a trustworthy guide through life, and a faithful pastor who provides for them eternal life and protects them so that they shall never perish.

Jesus Christ is credible in the eyes of the sheep because He too was a Lamb of God.  Jesus was sent by the Father to be the Passover Lamb whose blood would cleanse his people of sin and whose faithful example would demonstrate how we are to live.  Truly, Jesus knows each of us with an intense love, and the relationship He has with us is like the relationship His has with His Father.  Through Baptism, through the blood of the Lamb we are brought into the very life of God, a life that will never end — I give them eternal life.

Therefore, we must make it our primary spiritual desire to know the Voice of Jesus!  It is imperative that we can distinguish the Voice of Jesus from all other voices.  It is the Voice of Jesus that guides us, that consoles us, that tells us in the most intimate and personal way that He loves us and forgives us.  It is in our daily prayer – spending quiet time in the Lord’s presence that enables us to become familiar with the Voice of JesusMay we practice each day the Prayer of Listening to the Voice of Jesus! 

DO NOT LET A DAY GO BY WITHOUT READING — LISTENING TO A PORTION OF THE GOSPEL – THE VOICE OF JESUS!

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

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