Fourth Sunday of Easter

Call to worship

Today we proclaim and celebrate that we are a part of God’s flock, ready to hear God’s voice and ready to follow on the pathways where God leads us.

  • To the point: Our being “sheep” does not mean that we blindly follow Jesus, but that we actively pursue a relationship with him by hearing his voice and heeding his words. Though following the Good Shepherd truly leads to eternal life, the way of discipleship is not easy. Yet, nothing can interfere with Jesus’ care for us: we are secure in his hands — never alone with the Good Shepherd.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 10: 27-30) to the first reading: Jesus is both the Good Shepherd (Gospel) and the Lamb who was slain (Second Reading). As shepherd, Jesus is the one who cares for us and leads us even when we face jealousy, abuse, and rejection (First Reading). As lamb, Jesus is the one who lays down his life in sacrifice for us.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: The tumult of the world is not a sign that God has abandoned us. Jealousy, violent abuse, persecution, expulsions, etc. have always been part of our human condition. In all of this, Jesus shepherds us, lead us to “springs of life-giving water”, and “wipes away every tear” (Second Reading)

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(John 10: 27-30)

No one can take them out of my hand.

Good Shepherd, let us hear you
in the beauty of our world,
in your poor, and in one another,
on the rocky and rough roads we travel.
Please pick us up
when our legs can walk no more.
Pull us from the brambles that snarl us:
climate, racism, divisions, Ukranian suffering.
Carry all our brothers and sisters to safety.
Good Shepherd, hold us close, in your arms.
Speak to our hearts.

The First Reading

(Acts 13: 14, 43-52)

I have made you a light to the Gentiles.

Let us carry your light, your tidings, your beauty, your delight
to every nation, to every people who hunger for true life.
Transform us into love every moment of our being:
in how we live, what we do, for whom we care;
every one of our days, every season,
throughout all our years till the end of time.

The Second Reading

(Revelation 7: 9, 14b-17)

They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.

Dorothy Day, Gandhi, Oscar Romero:
they knew your hunger and thirst,
as you filled the hearts of each poor one
throughout this world.
They are the love you use to wipe away
every tear upon every face.
Let us love you as they did.
Let us lay down our lives for our friends.

Copyright © 2022, Anne M. Osdieck

Mother’s Day musical reflections

Music for reflection