Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Not so the hired hand, or any other person who is not the shepherd, and to whom the sheep do not belong. They abandon the sheep as soon as they see the wolf coming; then the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep. This is because the hired hand works for pay and cares nothing for the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father. Because of this, I give my life for my sheep.
“I have other sheep which are not of this fold. These I have to lead as well, and they shall listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock, since there is one shepherd.
“The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down freely. It is mine to lay down and to take up again: this mission I received from my Father.”
READ: Our gospel reading for today talks about the Good Shepherd for every year the “Good Shepherd” is the theme of the liturgy of the Fourth Sunday of Easter. Specifically the gospel stresses the courage of the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. The second reading tells us of the great gift of life that God has given to the world. The Father does not wait for the day of our death to give us this life; He gives it to us now. And giving up one’s life is necessary for the fullness of life to be revealed. The first reading describes the case of Christ, the true Good Shepherd, the stone rejected by the builders which has become the cornerstone.
REFLECT: If we are doing our work or tasks with the expectation of being affirmed and given a reward, we are not really following Christ. How do you lay down your life for your friend? How do you accompany the people entrusted in your care?
PRAY: Sometimes, I almost give up when amidst doing good I am persecuted. I almost run away from my family or community because I am not affirmed and appreciated. You let me experience worthlessness to make me humble. You make me weak so I will be strong. Thank You, dear Lord, for all the lessons learned. Amen.
ACT: Go and say thank you to your boss for running well the affairs of your office. Say, “I love you or I am sorry” to people guiding you, your parents, aunts, uncles or grandparents.
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