4th Sunday of Easter Year C
Almighty ever-living God,
lead us to a share in the joys of heaven,
so that the humble flock may reach
where the brave Shepherd has gone before.
This Fourth Sunday of Easter is always kept as Good Shepherd Sunday, when we hear from the tenth chapter of St John’s Gospel. This image of Christ the Shepherd caring for his followers has been used since the earliest years of Christianity. In the biblical way of shepherding, the shepherd leads the flock, calling each sheep by name. The sheep know and trust the voice of their shepherd, following him wherever he leads: a fine model for the love of Jesus for his disciples – and for each of us.
Paul and Barnabas (today’s First Reading), in the face of jealousies, and expulsion by the Jews, reach out to the Gentiles with the good news of salvation. Those who accept the good news will find joy, and the Psalm praises God the Shepherd, the source of this joy.
John, in the Second Reading, describes a vision of God, as Lamb, shepherding the saved from every nation and he reveals (in the Gospel) the manner of that shepherding – with a great and tender care.
This week, perhaps I can place myself ever more deeply under the great care of God who, for me, is both Shepherd and Lamb.