17 April 2016
4th SUNDAY OF EASTER
Cycle C. White.
Acts 13:14, 43 – 52 / Rev 7: 9, 14b-17 / Jn 10: 27-30
From the 1st Reading: Acts 13: 44 – 50
The following sabbath almost the entire city gathered to listen to Paul, who spoke a fairly long time about the Lord. But the presence of such a crowd made the Jews jealous. So they began to oppose with insults whatever Paul said.
Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out firmly, saying, "It was necessary that God's word be first proclaimed to you, but since you now reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we turn to non-Jewish people, For thus we were commanded by the Lord: I have set you as a light to the pagan nations, so that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.
Those who were not Jews rejoiced when they heard this and praised the message of the Lord, and all those destined for everlasting life believed in it. Thus the Word spread throughout the whole region.
Some of the Jews, however, incited God-fearing women of the upper class and the leading men of the city, as well, and stirred up an intense persecution against Paul and Barnabas. Finally they had them expelled from their region.
From the 2nd Reading: Rev 7:14b-17
After this I saw a great crowd, impossible to count, from every nation, race, people and tongue, standing before the throne and the Lamb, clothed in white, with palm branches in their hands. . .
The elder replied, "They are those who have come out of the great persecution; they have washed and made their clothes white in the blood of the Lamb.
This is why they stand before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his sanctuary. He who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they suffer hunger or thirst or be burned by the sun or any scorching wind. For the Lamb near the throne will be their Shepherd, and he will bring them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away our tears.
Gospel Reading: Jn 10: 27- 30
Jesus said to his disciples, "My sheep hear my voice and I know them; they follow me and I give them eternal life. They shall never perish and no one will ever steal them from me. What the Father has given me is stronger than anything and no one can snatch it from the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
This Sunday is also called "Good Shepherd Sunday." It is also "Vocation Sunday." Still in the Easter season we celebrate Christ risen from the dead who is truly alive, who cares and protects us as the Good Shepherd.
How would we picture Christ as the Good Shepherd? We have paintings of Christ as the Good Shepherd with a lamb on his shoulders and leading the sheep. We picture ourselves as the lamb on his shoulders and among the sheep following him. The image of the Good Shepherd assures us that Christ will protect and support us in our life-journey, through our problems and difficulties, our challenges and successes.
Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice and I know them; they follow me and I give them eternal life." Christ the Good Shepherd knows each one of his sheep, each one of us his followers. He protects his sheep from marauding wolves and thieves. He is the Good Shepherd prophesied by Ezekiel who will lead and deliver his people.
There is a very close relationship between the shepherd and his flock. For the shepherd his flock is his priority: he is ready to protect and defend them. For the flock the shepherd provides safety and security and leads them to good pasture and water.
Vocation Sunday is a reminder of the need of laborers in the vineyard of the Lord, whether to the ordained ministerial priesthood or the religious life. We pray that God will invite many to join in his saving work in the Church. We pray for more priests, for more shepherds of God's people.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Fr. Ruben B. Orbeta Jr, SJ
Fr. Benjamin Y. Sim, SJ
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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