Fourth Sunday of Easter

Sunday April 22, 2018
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 50

A Reading from the Gospel according to John
Jn 10:11-18

Jesus said:
"I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father."

Salesian Sunday Reflection
Fourth Sunday of Easter

In today’s Gospel we experience Jesus describing Himself as the Good Shepherd and what this means. St. Francis de Sales reminds us that we are all shepherds who must tend our sheep:

Our Good Shepherd gathers us all around Himself in order to keep us always under His most holy protection. But we too are shepherds and have a flock to attend. Our flock is our desires, feelings and emotions. We must keep watch over this spiritual flock, by learning from Jesus how to govern ourselves.

Since we easily mismanage ourselves, Our Good Shepherd wants us to give up such self-management except to consent and follow His Will. He desires what is best for our wholeness. Following in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd, we learn how to direct, to govern and put our desires, feelings and emotions in order, so that they conform to God’s goodness. What could be more pleasing to this Divine Shepherd than to bring to Him our loves so that He may purify them? Holy love is our first desire. True love is accomplished when we live no more according to our own willful desires, but according to the inspirations and promptings of Our Savior.

Our Shepherd tenderly nourishes us with an incomprehensible love. He died in love, by love, and for love. To bring us life, He suffered death. What remains for us? We ought to consecrate every moment of our life to the divine love of our Savior’s death that opened us up to eternal life. That is, we must bring to fruition all our works, all our actions and all our thoughts so that God’s glory may shine through them. How happy we will be if we remain in the Shepherd’s presence, faithfully bringing His reign in our midst!

(Adapted from St. Francis de Sales, Sermons, L. Fiorelli, Ed.; St. Francis de Sales, Treatise on the Love of God).