Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 8, 2022
St. Augustine’s Catholic Church
I give my sheep eternal life.
My Sisters and Brothers,
Jesus Christ, our Lord, used ordinary images known to mankind to describe what He is likened to with us. He called Himself, The light, “I am the Light of the world.” This was demonstrated at the East Virgil Mass, where we walked into the Church in darkness, then lit the paschal candle to proclaim the Light which is Christ, who has cleared away the darkness. And even much more, each time we are at Mass or at a religious ceremony, we always light the candle to demonstrate that Christ brought us light and He is in our midst. Christ also has called Himself, “The Way, the Truth and the Life”, meaning that He is the only One who leads the way to the kingdom through the divine truths of God, and finally, into the everlasting life. No other person can do this.
Today, the fourth Sunday of Easter, which is technically called Good Shepherd Sunday because He called Himself, the Good Shepherd. A shepherd among the Palestinians is one who rears sheep. He takes them out in the morning to pasture and to a place to drink water and to rest. In the evening, he brings them home. He protects them from wild beasts and if any are sick, he takes them to the veterinarian for treatment.
The sheep, on the other hand, would always follow the shepherd because they recognize his voice and would never follow a stranger. In this parable of a shepherd and his sheep, Christ demonstrates the magnitude of His love, kindness and mercy by which He cares for us (his sheep) to make us good members of His Church through the Sacraments. He offers us His body in the Eucharist, forgives us our sins when we offend Him or our neighbor, and would be ever ready to welcome us into the everlasting life. If Christ, the Good Shepherd, is ever too good to us, we, his followers, also have to be good sheep in relationship with Him. It is like when washing our hands, the right hand washes the left, and the left hand washes the right, and both hands become clean. That is what being His sheep is like. Praise God! Amen!!