Fourth Sunday of Easter (May 12, 2019)

In today’s Gospel we experience Jesus as the Good Shepherd who cares for His flock. St. Francis de Sales reminds us that we too must be good shepherds who tend our flock:

Some say that shepherds represent all those who wish to become holy: but if each of us is a shepherd, who are our sheep? They are our desires, feelings and emotions. We must keep watch over this spiritual flock. Jesus teaches us how to govern and rule over our desires, feelings and emotions, our flock that we must shepherd.

Like a shepherd who cares for his flock, our Good Shepherd gathers us all around Himself in order to makes us His own. He wants us to manage our lives in light of the Will of God, rather than our own willful desires. In Jesus, we learn how to govern our flock and direct our desires, feelings and emotions in a way that leads to spiritual health.

What can be more pleasing to Our Divine Shepherd than to bring to Him the lamb of our love? Love is the first desire of the human spirit. True love is accomplished when we live according to the inspirations and promptings that God places in us.

Our God is the God of the human heart. Our hearts thirst for God. We have a natural inclination to know and love God. No other love can satisfy us as the infinite goodness of God, from whom we gain infinite nourishment.

St. Augustine said: “Love God, then do what you will.” When all of our loves flow out of God’s love, then we can say that we truly love God. How happy we will be if we remain in the presence of Our Good Shepherd and faithfully imitate Him by following His example! We will then serve God as God wills and be a good shepherd to ourselves as well as others.

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales)