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All Issues > Volume 20, Issue 3

<< Sunday, May 2, 2004 >> Fourth Sunday of Easter
Acts 13:14, 43-52
Revelation 7:9, 14-17

View Readings
Psalm 100
John 10:27-30

Similar Reflections


"My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish." —John 10:27-28

Today is traditionally called "Good Shepherd Sunday." The image of God as a Shepherd is ancient and powerful. People of almost every culture have been and are profoundly inspired and consoled by the image of the Good Shepherd. Millions of people have prayed with all their hearts: "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want" (Ps 23:1).

Nevertheless, some cultures despise or at least look down on shepherds (see Gn 46:34). In fact, the traditional conflict between shepherds and farmers is the context for the first murder in history (see Gn 4:2ff). Even Jesus' apostles, who heard Jesus' revelation of Himself as the Good Shepherd, had difficulties relating to this image (Jn 10:6).

It is safe to say that the image of God as the Good Shepherd should not be thoughtlessly accepted or carelessly dismissed. If we ignore the Good Shepherd so as not to be compared with stupid sheep, we deprive ourselves of major revelations about the dynamics of our relationship with the Lord. However, if we romanticize the image of the Good Shepherd, we either press its application too far, or we do not practically apply it at all.

Hardly ever do we give homework in this book. Today, however, your homework is to read John 10 and Ezekiel 34. Look up the cross references. Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach about the truth and the mystery of the image of the Good Shepherd.

Prayer: Father, make me a sheep by Your standards.
Promise: "Never again shall they know hunger or thirst, nor shall the sun or its heat beat down on them, for the Lamb on the throne will shepherd them." —Rv 7:16-17
Praise: Praise Jesus, Good Shepherd, Lamb-Shepherd, risen Lord, and God Himself!
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 20, Issue 3
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