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Homilies/Reflections

JESUS OUR GOOD SHEPHERD. A reflection for the 4th Sunday of Easter, Year B
By Fr. Francis Onwunali
Sun, 25 Apr 2021

Readings: Acts 4:8-12; 1John 3:1-2; John 10:11-18
 
Today, we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Easter. Traditionally, today is called Good Shepherd Sunday, Bonus Pastor. The readings highlight the role of Jesus as the Good Shepherd and our response as faithful Sheep of the flock. 
 
   In the gospel (John 10: 11-18), Jesus speaks on the personal relationship He has with the Sheep as the Good Shepherd. He lays down His life for the life of His sheep. Any sheep that listens to His voice, either within or outside the fold, He cares for, leads to pasture, to water, and to safety. As the Good Shepherd, Jesus is sent to unite the sheep into one fold. How docile am I as a Sheep in the fold? Can I allow the Shepherd to bandage the wounds of my life?
 
   In the first reading (Acts 4: 8-12), Peter, the appointed shepherd for Jesus' flock stood before the Sanhedrin to proclaim that it is only through the Name of Jesus christ who laid down His life for our sake, that we can be saved. It is by the power of this Name that the crippled received healing, for the stone rejected by the builders have become the Cornerstone. Do you bear the Name of Christ only in name, or does its transforming power renew your life and call for obedience to the voice in this Name?
 
   Dear friends, obedience to the voice of the Shepherd grants eternal life. The Lord leads us each day to good pastures- places where we can feed on His word and drink from the well-spring of living water which is His Holy Spirit (John 7: 38-39; 4: 14). If we feed on His Word and drink from the living water of the Holy Spirit, we will find the nourishment and strength we need to live each day for His glory and honour. Do I recognize the voice of my Shepherd and Guardian who calls me each day? Or am I carried away by the fake promises of fake shepherds? I pray as we journey in life today, we will proclaim: "Lord Jesus, you have the words of eternal life". May God's Word be a lamp to our feet and a light unto our path (Ps 119: 105), for since the Lord is our Shepherd, there is nothing we shall want (Ps 23: 1). Jesus, our Good Shepherd, gave up His life that we might have life and be healed by His wounds. (1 Pt. 2: 20-25). As we repent of our sins, may we commit our present health crisis to His wounds to be healed. Have a happy and glorious Sunday!
 

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