Fourth Sunday of Easter
Acts 13:14, 43-52
Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 5
Revelation 7:9, 14b-17
“I know them and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
This Sunday’s Gospel reading is short but oh so sweet. In four verses, John shares a powerful truth. Jesus knows us, protects us, and, united with the Father, gives us eternal life.
The image of Jesus as a shepherd explains His desire to care for us. A shepherd constantly watches the flock, keeps alert for predators, endures the elements to keep close to the sheep, searches for good pasture and water, and prevents the sheep from wandering off. Although many of us don’t have firsthand knowledge of shepherds today, we can still understand the concept of someone tending these gentle animals.
Jesus makes it clear that we belong to Him. As a shepherd is in charge of the health and safety of his sheep, Jesus is responsible for each of us. He takes that obligation sincerely and promises we shall never perish. He will not lose even one.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that as followers we are free from responsibility. We must pay attention to His voice. We must follow Jesus rather than the temptations of the world. We must allow Him to shear away the heaviness and worry that weigh us down, just as a shepherd clips the thick wool that burdens his flock.
Today, we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Easter and continue to count down to the feast of Pentecost. Jesus is such a good shepherd that He promised we would not be alone, even after His death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. He has sent us the Holy Spirit; our defender and supporter.
As we continue our Easter journey, remember to invite the Holy Spirit into your heart and mind. If you feel lost, ask for God’s guidance in returning to the flock. Remember that Jesus will not abandon you. He will seek you out, carry you home, and rejoice in your salvation.
“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
Know that the Lord is God,
he made us, we belong to him,
we are his people, the flock he shepherds.” (Psalm 100: 1-3)
By: Maryrose Orange, Parishioner, Saint Vincent Basilica Parish, Latrobe