Good Shepherd Sunday Year C (4th Sunday of Easter)
Acts 13:14, 43-52 Revelation7:9, 14b-17 John 10:27-30
Theme: Jesus the good Shepherd
Today is the fourth Sunday of Easter Year C, today is also known as the Good Shepherd Sunday. It is the world’s day of prayer for priestly life and religious vocations. As we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday this year, Jesus the good shepherd invites us as Christians of today to live lives worthy of our name. Thus, as He laid down his life for his sheep (meaning he laid down his life for all of us), He is mandating us to lay down our lives too for our brothers and sisters, and all those we meet. Hence, we are invited in a special way on this Good Shepherd Sunday to emulate Jesus and to live our lives as true shepherds.
The attitude of laying down one’s life as mandated by Christ was categorically displaced by Paul and Banarbas in the first reading. Despite the opposition they faced while preaching the Good News of the kingdom, they never relented, they put their lives on the stalk. Thus, even while been rejected in one place, they brace up and went somewhere else. This simply shows their conviction about the message they carried and their willingness to make ensure more people listen and get the word of God. The opposition encountered by Paul and Barnabas today was as a result of jealousy. This was because they were making converts for the Lord, and those who were against righteousness were not comfortable with this. My brothers and sisters, we too can face such oppositions in our ministry of bringing people to Christ. When this happens, let us not be dismayed or discouraged, rather let us emulate the wonderful attitude of Paul and Barabbas and also that of Jesus Christ himself.
We are called to be true shepherds in our different capacities, either as a father, or as a mother, or as children. Whatever position in life we occupy serves an opportunity for us to be good shepherds. Taking a clue from the life of Jesus, we could learn self-denial, humility, selflessness, obedience, letting go, so that the will of God. These attributes are in short supply in our world today. The world is in serious need of selfless people; people who are willing to sacrifice their comforts for the good of the society. Dear brothers and sisters, on this Good Shepherds Sunday, let us take the opportunity presented to us and make firm resolutions once again and abide the spirit and culture of Jesus. That culture that makes us to think about others even more than we think of ourselves; the culture by which we are willing to die to the self for the good of others and to let go and to let God. Are we ready to do this, are we are ready to bring this to practice in our daily lives?
Today, the world over prays for vocations. My brothers and sisters let us encourage our wards, let us encourage our children, instead of discouraging those who are willing to go and serve God in the religious way of life, let us encourage them through our prayers, through our finances. The world today is in dire need of honest and sincere people to embrace the religious way of life. Let us pray in a special way on this Good Shepherd Sunday that God will bring more people into the vineyard, priests and religious after his heart that will continue this wonderful sacrifice of self-giving. Peace be with you!