This Week’s Vincentian Reflection
FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
April 21, 2013
Gospel: (John 10:27-30)
Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
In many parishes, this is called “Good Shepherd Sunday” where we reflect on Jesus’ care and assurance as we listen to the words “No one can take them out of my hand.” We are called to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and follow him. We follow first by listening. Hearing Jesus—heeding his voice—is already an act of following. This is a good Sunday to bask in Jesus’ care and protection, listen to his voice calling us to his loving, embracing hands, and rejoice in the goodness showered upon us who are faithful to his call. (Living Liturgy, p.120)
It is not so much what sheep do, nor even what the shepherd does, that the key to understanding the message of Jesus is to be found. It is rather on the quality of the shepherd that we must center our attention: on his heart and mind rather than on his functions. Think of the occasions when our Lord spoke of the shepherd. The shepherd is one who protects; one who searchers; one who speaks and calls the sheep by name. The image was a favorite one of our Lord, because it conveyed to His hearers the idea of one who cares and who does not take flight when danger threatens. The shepherd protects, searches and speaks. This is what Jesus did. Given St. Vincent’s sensitivity to fulfilling the will of God in the smallest details of his life, he might well ask us: Do you consistently search out the Will of God, not only in the crisis points of your life, but day by day and hour by hour do you listen to hear his voice? (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p. 731)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
How do we listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd in our families and in our Conferences?
Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, give us the grace to listen to the Good Shepherd,
-give us the grace to always search for the will of God.
For those who are lonely or overwhelmed,
-may we bring them the Good Shepherd’s friendship.
For all those who are poor and destitute,
-may we bring them the Good Shepherd’s protection.
For the sick and the dying,
-may we bring them Good Shepherd’s healing love. Amen