Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Malvern Minute

 

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

May 5, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

1st Reading: Acts of the Apostles 11:19-26

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 87

Gospel: John 10:22-30

(Click here for the readings)

 

Reflection

Today’s Gospel narrative continues (from yesterday) the familiar story of the Good Shepherd and the sheep.  There is a distinction made between the sheep that know, recognize, trust, and follow the shepherd and those who don’t.  As an analogy, we recognize the good shepherd as Jesus and we are the sheep.  The theme is one of credibility and trust, recognition and intimate relationship. 

When reading of this passage, the scene that generally comes to mind is the image of a holy card of a gentle and humble Jesus surrounded by white fluffy lambs.  Although my knowledge of sheep and shepherds is limited, I do have a little first hand experience.  While serving in the U. S. Navy I was stationed for a period of time in Christchurch (great name,) New Zealand.  New Zealand at that time was the “sheep” capital of the world. 

My friends please believe me, sheep were everywhere!  They were loud, smelly and not very friendly.  They roamed freely and they never once followed the voice of the shepherd.  However, they did follow the direction of his dog that was truly amazing to watch in action.  The shepherd let his dog do all the work. 

In using this allegory of the sheep and the shepherd, Saint John is saying so much more than is readily apparent.  The shepherd and these sheep that follow the shepherd are awesome!  These “sheep” in no way act like, well, sheep. What has happened to convert this flock of fearful, skittish, easily spooked humans to loving, trusting, faithful followers?  The answer is in the relationship; the intimate, personal relationship of Jesus, with each one of us, mirrored in the multitude of relationships among ourselves.

As we move with the Church through the Easter season, we may ask ourselves:

How is Jesus loving me intimately and uniquely, moving me from fear into trust?

What are the temptations that cause me to doubt Jesus’ personal intimate love for me, to be afraid, and to doubt Jesus’ trust in me and mine in Him?

How am I being invited to give my heart, mind and soul over to Jesus?

 

Question(s) of the Day:  Today, in the twenty-first century how are we to recognize the Good Shepherd?  How are we called to be good shepherds?

 

Prayer: Please read Psalm 23 – “The Lord is my Shepherd.”

 

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

Prosit!  

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