On this Fourth Sunday of Easter, we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday. We recall Jesus’ promise to protect us from harm; to rescue us when we stray and to guide us home at the end of the day. Ultimately Jesus laid down his life for us, as he told his disciples that he would do. We likely come with worries and concerns on our mind. We can take comfort in knowing that the Good Shepherd watches over us, providing comfort, protection, guidance, and salvation.
Today’s readings refer to us as children and as a flock of sheep. John in his first letter calls us children of God, and God loves and nurtures us as parents love and nurture their children. Jesus calls us a flock of sheep in the sense of being guided and cared for by the one who watches over us. We are still free to stray, but we know that ultimately the Good Shepherd laid down his life for us.
Today is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. We pray that women and men listen for the Lord’s call and respond generously and courageously. Jesus gives us the model of service in his identification as the Good Shepherd, leading, guiding, and protecting his flock. Let us pray for many good shepherds who will care for the flock of the one true shepherd.
Love, Peace, Joy,