Fourth Sunday of Easter – Year B

Posté par diaconos le 17 avril 2024

The Good Shepherd - I Am His and He Is Mine! - Sermon for April 25 ...

# The Parable of the Lost Sheep, also known as the Parable of the Good Shepherd or Parable of the Good Shepherd, attributed to Jesus of Nazareth, is found in two of the canonical Gospels of the New Testament. It is recounted by Matthew (Mt 18:12-13) and Luke (Lk 15:3-7). It is also found in the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, Logion 107. Possible parallels in the Old Testament are Ezek 34:6.12 and Ps 119:176 The parable gave rise to an expression, the lost sheep, which refers, like the prodigal son in a parable that follows a little later in Luke, to the person who goes astray morally or, again in Luke, to the lost drachma.

The first two parables, and sometimes all three, form the basis of the considerations of theologians and preachers on the need to go and find the lost sheep and bring it back into the flock, in the case of unintentional error, or to welcome with grace the repentant sinner, in the case of voluntary error. # The good shepherd is one of the titles by which Jesus identifies himself. It is one of the seven words I am…, found only in the Gospel of John, and refers to one aspect of Jesus’ mission: he gathers, guides, seeks out the lost, and gives his life for others.

He feeds his sheep or brings back the lost sheep. This term is at the origin of the word ‘shepherd’ commonly used in Christianity. The Good Shepherd theme was widespread in ancient Greek art, where it was applied to Hermes criophorus, the bearer, but also to the bearers of offerings, and then in Roman art, where it was used particularly in connection with funerals, according to formulas from which nascent Christian art drew full inspiration.

This same theme is said to have Sumerian models. In Christian iconography, Christ is first depicted as the ‘Lamb of God’ carried by John the Baptist, and then Jesus himself becomes the Good Shepherd who gathers the lost sheep. Traditionally, he is depicted with calf’s headbands and dressed in exomyds and holds a shepherd’s crook, a milk jug (mulctra) or a syringe. This theme has inspired many Christian artists.

From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to John

At that time Jesus said, « I am the good shepherd, the true shepherd, who lays down his life for his sheep. The mercenary shepherd is not the shepherd, the sheep are not his : if he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and flees; the wolf catches them and scatters them. That shepherd is nothing but a hireling, and the sheep do not really matter to him. But I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. 

I have other sheep that are not of this fold: these too must I lead. They will listen to my voice and there will be one flock and one shepherd. That is why the Father loves me: because I give my life, to receive it again. No one can take it away from me: I give it of myself. I have the power to give it, but I also have the power to receive it again: this is the commandment I have received from my Father ». (Jn 10:11-18)

I am the Good Shepherd

« I am the Good Shepherd, the true Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep ». (Jn 10:11) It was during his whole life that Jesus gave himself. Throughout his life on earth, he never stopped giving and giving himself. We see this in his daily life in Nazareth, in his preaching, in his service to the disciples and in his welcoming of all those who came to him with their anguish and suffering. The good shepherd is also the one who knows and loves his sheep.

For Christ, the shepherd of all humanity, we are his most precious possession. Jesus asks us to love one another as he has loved us. This means that we must also take the time to get to know the people on our path and those entrusted to our care. We cannot truly love those we do not seek to know or those we deliberately ignore. It is through personal contact and patient dialogue that we can better understand those in need, and time spent getting to know them and making them known to the Lord is precious time given with love.

We are co-workers with Christ, the shepherd of humanity. It is he who calls us and sends us. One day we will have to account for the responsibility entrusted to us. The good shepherd is also the one who gathers his flock: when travelling in the mountains, it is important that the flock remains united; its safety depends on it. In saying this, Jesus speaks to us of the divided world in which we live. Christ has placed his Church there. He wants it to be united and in solidarity. « I have other sheep, which are not of this fold: these also I must lead.They will listen to my voice and there will be one flock and one shepherd ».

Jesus counts on us to participate in this work of unity

Let us contemplate Jesus in his love for the Father and for all humanity; let us contemplate him in his obedience, in his poverty, in his compassion for every man and woman, especially the poorest, the excluded, the marginalised, those who suffer most. Let us fix our gaze on him: he knows us better than we know ourselves. With Jesus, the Good Shepherd, let us in turn reaffirm our full availability to do the Father’s will day by day. May this Eucharist that we celebrate this Sunday stimulate in us the desire to live in the way of Jesus, the Good Shepherd !

May it help us to be more and more like Jesus, who never ceases to give his life for all ! Let us hear the call, his call through the needs of our brothers and sisters who cry out to us. How great and wonderful is the love with which the Father fills us in his Son, the Good Shepherd. On this Sunday, when we are invited to pray for vocations, let us lift our eyes to Jesus, the Good Shepherd. We pray with confidence and insistence that he gives his Church pastors who seek to know people better and love them, and who care for those who are not yet in the Church.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian sites

Got Questions : click here to read the papetWhat did Jesus mean when He said, “I am the goog psherferd

Sint Ignatius Church : click here to read the paper« I AM the Good Shepherd » – St. Ignatius Catholic Church

VidéoGrace to you : Click here →


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