FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – 2020
The Gospel reading for the Fourth Sunday of Easter is always taken from one of three sections of St. John chapter 10:
- verses 1-10 (year A),
- 11-18 (year B) or
- 27-30 (year C).
The consistent theme is that Jesus is our Good Shepherd.
A good shepherd is not only a guide but also a rescuer! Human rescuers would not save us from drowning only to place us in dangerous or deep waters. If they follow the model of the Good Shepherd. Would they not place us on dry ground and restore us to life? If you believe Jesus has saved you, then you must believe that He is going to save you even more. Jesus, who is our rescuer, our Good Shepherd, would certainly do this and even more. God will complete the task He sets out to do. He will not throw you overboard if you depend only on Him. The false Shepherd, we learn today, wants to lead us to destruction.
Pay attention to how Jesus portrays Himself with two metaphors: He is both Shephard and Gate. Notice how critical it is that sheep recognize His voice. “But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” Unfortunately, one who has raised sheep knows that the only time sheep will follow a stranger is when they are sick!
People who love Christ, long to hear a shepherd’s voice that speaks truth. Are you hearing truth?
After using the double metaphor of ‘shepherd’ and ‘gate’ and He turns to the contrast between two guides: The Shepherd who came to give us life that we may have it more abundantly vs. the False Shepherd who comes “to steal, slaughter and destroy.” To which one are we listening?
Let us begin each day with a prayer to ask for God’s help. Our contact with Him from day to day will bring us closer to an understanding of His will for us. It will bring us closer to recognizing the True Shepherd’s voice.