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Fourth Sunday of Easter

May 11, 2019

Alleluia, Alleluia.

I am the good Shepherd, says the Lord;

I know my sheep, and mine know me!

Alleluia, Alleluia.


A reading from the holy Gospel according to 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 by Monsignor Joseph Marino

Today we proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd!  From the beginning the Church has loved the image of the Good Shepherd which is so beautifully enshrined in Psalm 23, and now is recalled and applied to the Son of God in today’s Gospel according to St. John.  In addition the Church has a long standing tradition of emphasizing the Good Shepherd during the Easter Season. 

Today’s Eucharistic Liturgy brings together the image of the heavenly triumphant faithful sheep from the Book of Revelation (Second Reading) with the image of Jesus, the Shepherd and Lamb of God in whose blood the triumphant faithful sheep have been purified.

The biblical relationship between Jesus and shepherds begins with the Gospel’s telling of the birth of Jesus.  St. Luke’s Gospel (2: 8-20) records that shepherds were the first individuals 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 Good Shepherd.   The child found in the manger, the feeding trough for sheep is the food that comes down from heaven to feed his flock

Like God the Father, the Good Shepherd referred to in Psalm 23 Jesus too is a Good Shepherding pastor who knows his sheep and whose voice the sheep recognize and trustingly follow.  The sheep follow Jesus because this shepherd is the most trustworthy guide throughout life, and the most faithful pastor who leads his flock to springs of life-giving water (Revelation 7:17) and protects his flock so that they shall never perish.

Jesus Christ is credible in the eyes of the sheep because He too was a lamb, the Lamb of God.  Jesus was sent by the Father as the new Passover Lamb whose blood would cleanse God’s people of sin and whose example would show them how to live.  Truly, Jesus the Incarnate God knows us and cherishes us with an intense love.  Indeed as Jesus himself proclaimed, his relationship with us is like the relationship he 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.



Monsignor Joseph Marino


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