Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Malvern Minute


Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter

May 4, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

Acts of the Apostles 11:1-18

Psalm 42, 43

John 10:11-18


Today’s Gospel narrative revisits the truth of Jesus as the gatekeeper, the true Way, and His relationship with those He leads.  The sheep respond to the shepherd, not the stranger (thieves, marauders, etc.)  They follow the shepherd in and out of the safety of the sheepfold.

Sheep aren’t particularly bright animals, so why do they give loyalty to one person rather than another?  Why don’t they follow the stranger?  It is because they don’t recognize the stranger’s voice.  Why then do they recognize the voice of the shepherd?  I believe it is because they are responding to the shepherd’s unconditional love.

The shepherd is with them in good times and bad, fair weather and foul, times of peace and times of terror.  The shepherd protects the sheep with his own life against the perils that beset them, the sheep sense this concern, this deep and unconditional love for their well-being, and they respond with unquestioning faith.

When I was a young boy, my love for and faith in my mother was like the sheep to the shepherd.  She was the life-giver, my solace, the source of all love in my life, the comforter, the healer, even at times the redeemer.  Of course I felt my father’s love, but my mom was always the place of first, last and best haven of safety.  I knew that she always loved me (and my baby brother,) no matter what mischief I had gotten into.  Yet as I grew older, I realized she could not solve all the problems, prevent all the hurts, and keep at bay the “wolves of my life.”

Today Jesus reminds us that He alone can provide the ultimate solace as we face the wolves, thieves and marauders in our lives.  He is the Good Shepherd, and if we walk in His shadow we will be safe from all harm.

Question of the Day:  How will you follow the example of Jesus and shepherd others through His Holy Word and the table of the Holy Eucharist?

Prayer:  O Lord our Shepherd, You care for Your flock across every desert and every dark place.  Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, seek out and restore all those who have lost their way that we all may come together into the glory of Your Kingdom.  Amen.

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic.


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