Fourth Sunday of Easter

Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He lays down his life for the sake of the flock. We, who are God’s beloved children, are asked to do the very same — to give up our lives for others and to bring the flock of the Lord to pastures of gentleness, love and peace.

  • To the point: What is the command Jesus received from his Father? That he be the Good Shepherd by laying down his life for his sheep. That he gathers all people into one flock by laying down his life for his sheep. We, Jesus’ disciples, receive the same command from him. We are not to be “hired” hands but good shepherds who, by listening to his voice leading us, lay down our lives for others. In the Father’s love we too gather all people into one flock by laying down our lives for others. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. So are we to be.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 11: 10-18) to the first reading: Because “the Father has bestowed on us” great love, we are able, like Jesus, to lay down our lives for others.
  • Connecting the Gospel to our experience: As human beings we have a hard time being faithful about loving. The whole Easter mystery reveals to us how utterly faithful God is in loving us. We can be faithful in our own loving because God is faithful in loving us.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(John 10: 11-18)

“I am the good shepherd …”

The Good Shepherd knows his sheep and calls them each by name.
They listen, they wait for the sound of his voice.
We are so like them. O Jesus, Shepherd, we long to hear you call us.
Hold us in your arms awhile. Then help us take your unconditional love —
the lay-down-your-life kind of love that you got from your Father —
and wrap it around us into the lives of all people everywhere. 

The First Reading

(Acts 4: 8-12)

“In his name this man stands before you healed.”

Only one name could make the cripple walk.
Father in heaven, give us the same courage
you gave to Peter –– to speak out,
tell all about the one rejected who became our cornerstone.
In Jesus’ name we ask food for the hungry, 
care for all immigrants, and suffering children,
healing for our planet, love that ends divisions.

The Second Reading

(I Jon 3: 1-12)

“We may be called the children of God.”

We are his children now. God in fact does not become
our Father tomorrow, or next week, but now, today.
This minute. No matter what.

Copyright © 2024, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection