Fourth Sunday of Easter 2007
April 29 Year : C
Acts 13:14, 43-52; Rev. 7:9, 14-7; Jn.
My sheep hear My voice and follow Me
"Paul and Barnabas went on from Perga and came to
Antioch in Pisidia. On the sabbath day they went into
the synagogue and sat down.
When the meeting of the synagogue broke
up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed
Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to
continue in the grace of God.
The next sabbath almost the whole city
gathered to hear the word of the Lord. But when the
Jewish officials saw the crowds, they were filled with
jealousy and blaspheming, they contradicted what was
spoken by Paul.
Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out
boldly, saying, 'It was necessary that the word of God
should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and
judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are
now turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has
commanded us, saying, 'I have set you to be a light for
the Gentiles, so that you may bring salvation to the
ends of the earth.'' When the Gentiles heard this, they
were glad and praised the word of the Lord; and as many
as had been destined for eternal life became believers.
Thus the word of the Lord spread
throughout the region. But the officials incited the
devout women of high standing and the leading men of the
city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and
Barnabas, and drove them out of their region. So they
shook the dust off their feet in protest against them,
and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with
joy and with the Holy Spirit." [Acts 13:14, 43-52]
"After this I, John, looked, and there was a great
multitude that no one could count, from every nation,
from all tribes and people and languages, standing
before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white,
with palm branches in their hands.
And one of the elders then said to me,
'These are they who have come out of the great ordeal;
they have washed their robes and made them white in the
blood of the Lamb.
For this reason they are before the
throne of God, and worship him day and night within his
temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will
shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no
more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching
heat; for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be
their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the
water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from
their eyes.'" [Rev. 7:9, 14-7]
"Jesus said, 'My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and
they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will
never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.
What my Father has given me is greater than all else,
and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand. The
Father and I are one." [Jn. 10:27-30]
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
A young man called Christopher was an
alcoholic, drug addict. One night as he was coming home
late at night (at 2.30 am) he saw light in a chapel.
There were the adoration sisters adoring the Blessed
Sacrament. He spent time and heard the passage of the
good shepherd in search of the lost sheep. He was
consoled and strengthened with the assurance that Jesus
is truly searching him. A few months later he joined the
Carmelite Order. Today he is a priest working among the
drug addicts in California region.
Allen Mark, a young man was condemned to death in 1992
in New York City. Before the capital punishment was
pronounced, Allen got friendly with a priest, who
visited him frequently. One day almost when the days
were approaching for his death, the priest found a
picture of the Good Shepherd on the wall of his cell.
Curiously he asked the significance of the picture at
that moment. Allen explains the truth saying that he was
orphaned at an early age. His father was an alcoholic
and was harassing his mother. One day he died of an
accident. Later mom also died of an incurable disease.
Before her death she gave him the picture of the good
shepherd saying that in any trouble he has to pray to
the Good Shepherd. But unfortunately Allen himself
became a criminal and raped a girl and murdered her. Now
he was serving this death sentence. On the day of his
capital punishment, the police asked the young man for
the last wish to be fulfilled. Allen requested the
priest to bring the picture of the Good Shepherd and
Allen reverently kissed it and that sparked a row. The
man, the father of the girl murdered threw a chair at
the glass through which he had to witness the execution
and broke it. He shouted, ‘Allen is innocent, Allen is
innocent’. Later Allen was sent to jail, and released.
Allen directly goes to the father of the girl and falls
at his feet asking why he prevented his execution. The
father said, the picture of the Good Shepherd prevented
it and he would accept Allen as his son.
He came to seek the lost one. He goes in search of them.
Jesus called himself the good shepherd who has come to
lay down his life. He calls himself to the Door, the
Way, the Light, and the Life. He refused to be called
the human teacher. Rather preferred himself to be called
the Divine Teacher. The Door to the Father was himself.
No one would go to the Father except through Him.
Finally he became the sheep who became the victim in
saving the other sheep, specially the lost one.
claimed himself as the unique teacher. He would not only
give ideas and new insights into life, but he would give
his own life to them all. “I have come that men may have
life, and may have it in all its fullness” (John
easy to give ideas and doctrines, but difficult to live
and give ones life. Our blessed Lord did nothing but
give life through his own life. He would give life
Eternal, a life that will last for ever.
needs to be told that there exists life after death.
Nature cannot give life after death. Plants even cannot
convince of the life after death. Nor animals indicate
that there exists life after death. Human beings can and
are able to think about life after death. But Jesus was
the one who proclaimed life abundantly. That is why He
had to become man to make man enjoy this life
Old Testament we have the beautiful imagery of God
leading people from bondage to freedom through the
desert. That was the task of a shepherd.
depicted by Isaiah as carrying His sheep in his arms,
and by Ezekiel as a shepherd looking for His lost sheep.
Zachariah gave the saddest picture of all in prophesying
that the Messiah shepherd would be struck, and the sheep
best known is the Psalm 23 The lord is my shepherd,
there is nothing shall I WANT.
imagery of the good shepherd so beautifully agrees with
the Seven Sacraments:
John 10:1-18: continuation of today’s
sheep hear his voice as he calls his own sheep by name”
(verse 3) = the reference to
Baptism we are called by name. Of course we are carved
on the palm of his hand Ezekiel 36.23. He will never
leads them out” (verse 3b): Leading them
out to the pastures. When he leads them out he
strengthens them = Confirmation. The sacrament of confirmation
is to fortify us. We are led into the world to face the
realities of the world. It is not by living inside that
we are able to proclaim the word, rather we need to face
and challenge the world. “He goes ahead of them, and the
sheep follow him, because they know his voice.
“Whoever comes in by
me will be saved; he will come in and go out and find
pasture” (verse 9) = the reference here
is to the Holy Eucharist.
Jesus gives us food and nourishes us. We need to enter
the gate to get our food. The gate is the Church. The
food is the Eucharist. “I have come in order that you
might have life - life in all its fullness” (verse 10)
am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the
sheep” (verse 11). This indication is for
Jesus in fact died for our sins. He has left this
sacrament of reconciliation so that we might come back
even when we are wounded. The good shepherd comes in
search of the lost sheep.
am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know
the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they
know me” (verse 14-15) = refers to the
anointing of the sick.
The doctor knows the sickness, the patient. His work is
to suggest medicine. Strengthen him. Jesus knows us
better than we ourselves know. The shepherd has to nurse
the wounds of his sheep.
Jesus invites all of us through St. Peter to become the
good shepherds. Peter was asked thrice “do
you love me?”. At the reply Jesus says
“feed my sheep” which signifies, if Jesus is the
shepherd we too are called to be the shepherds. This
invitation is a call either to a lay person or to a
priest to be the shepherd. (Priesthood
How can I become the good shepherd in my
Giving good example: responsibility, work, virtues
Good intentions and good will
Helping those who are weak
Consoling the distressed
Respecting the others
Loving and caring the house.
Looking after the Church. Shepherding the Church
activities (it is not only the responsibility of the
Being good shepherd In the World:
Meeting with people and relationship
Dealing with specially with the opposite sex
Preaching through our lives
Good example in public appearances
Mingling with the poor and rich alike
Regarding food and drinks outside.
Our words and jokes
Getting addresses and writing letters
How familiar we are with only certain people?
Our attitude should be Christ like.
Are we too conscious of our physical beauty and
elegance than spiritual?
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