May 3, 2020
This, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday.
One of the most ancient depiction of Jesus was found in the catacombs.
Below is an icon of the one found on the wall of the catacomb.
In the First Reading, we hear of how fearless the apostles were after the Resurrection and Pentecost experience; where before they were afraid and fearful. Now after Pentecost they plainly spoke out, without fear of arrest, suffering, rejection, or even death. Wow!
What about us?
Are we willing to make Christ's message of love, mercy, and compassion to the other, even to the enemy present in the world?
We live in a world that often indicates that to go out of our way for the other is foolish!
We can be so influenced by the world around us, that we fail to understand the message of the Good Shepherd.
We are to go out of our way for the other .
Why are we afraid to be merciful,
even to those who do not deserve it.
Why are we unable to have compassion on the undeserving?
Why do we try to escape from those who give us difficulty?
Now is the time to pray for ourselves, so that we are able to see, that at times, we do not make Christ present for others.
The problems and struggles are always a gift from God.
It is through them we see that we often fail; that we need to keep praying for a Resurrection and Pentecost experience, and become like the Good Shepherd, going out of our way for the other, even for the dumb sheep that we encounter in our daily lives.
That may very well be the person who is difficult or the person we don't care for.
In the second reading Peter is speaking to newly baptized Christians who were struggling slaves. They were told to not to be afraid of struggles and difficulties.
Peter is also speaking to each of us today . In case we did not know it we are all, at times, slaves to the ideas of this world.
The Gospel helps us to see that Christ calls us to go through the gates that we will all meet in this world
We are often fearful to go through the gate in this world (the struggles of this world).
But Jesus is always watching for us as the Shepherd who is the gatekeeper.
He is always encouraging us to go through the gate, through the struggles and disappointments.
He is leading us on, no matter how many times we have failed in the past.
This time go through the gate...
We are the lost sheep that Christ comes for, encouraging us to go through the gates that separates us from the wall of this world and that of eternal life.
Come, follow me!