Fourth Sunday of Easter

Good Shepherd Sunday
The fourth Sunday of Easter is often called GoodiShepherd Sunday. The Gospel tends his flock. In the pastoral setting of Israel, the symbol of the shepherd evokes guidance, comfort and protection.
Today’s gospel uses an imagery which is closely related to shepherding. Jesus identifies himself as 
the gate or door of the sheep. Fr. Raymond Brown, the famous American Bible Scholar, gives two 
interpretations of the gate imagery. The first is Jesus is the gate whereby the shepherd approaches 
the sheep. Jesus is the sole legitimate means of access to God’s flock. This guarantees safety and 
well-being of the sheep because the shepherds who pass by the gate are shepherds who have the heart of Jesus. On the other hand, those who seek entry to the fold apart from Jesus are thieves and 
robbers.
The second interpretation of the imagery is Jesus is the gate leading to salvation, a gate not for 
the shepherd, but for the sheep. The gate is not only for coming in but also for going out, and the 
sheep which go out through Jesus find pasture.
Good Shepherd Sunday is a fitting time to remember that the only one who provides a true model for 
those who rule and guide is Jesus Christ, he who did not come to be served but to serve and to give 
his life as ransom for many (Mk. 10:45).
The Church also invites us to keep this Sunday as “Vocation Sunday,” that is, a day of prayer to 
ask God to send to us good and numerous shepherds from among our children, and also as a day of 
reflection, to see how we may help our children to become the good shepherds that Christ wants them to be, and to remain so till the end of their lives.
Jesus puts the Christian community under the care of the shepherds he himself has chosen; but our 
shepherds in turn become the responsibility of the Christian community, that is, our own 
responsibility. We must feel a deep responsibility towards our seminarians and priests; they are 
our concern. We must help them to enter priesthood through the door which is Christ.
Let us bear in mind that our priests will be what our Christian community is. If we strive to be 
the flock that Christ wants us to be, the Lord bless us with good shepherds. Let us all, shepherds 
and sheep faithfully follow Christ on our way t heaven, the sheepfold where we shall feel happy and 
secure for good. Amen!
 

 

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