4th Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday)
Jesus is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.. period! No amount of money or material possession or position can ever satisfy man. To pursue happiness in worldly pleasures is fruitless and vain.
St. Augustine realized this late in his life when he said: “You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” The words of St. Augustine express a central insight into the nature of true happiness: only possession and being possessed by God can truly satisfy our deep longings!
In today’s gospel, Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd who knows everyone of us to the core of our being. He knows every feeling and intention; he knows our failures and weaknesses and he declares that no one can take his sheep out of his hand.
What then is our response to the Good Shepherd? Let us get some hints from the gospel.
- – The sheep hears the shepherd’s voice—to hear is not only physical but something that requires an open heart and mind. Unless hindrances like selfishness, pride, sinfulness and pre-conceived ideas are removed, we can never listen to the Good Shepherd.
- – The sheep knows the shepherd—knowing about God is but theoretical knowledge which lies simply in the intellectual level. Knowing God is much deeper. It is that knowledge that involves love relationship. It is being immersed in the love of God (naka babad sa pag-ibig ng Diyos).
- – The sheep follows the shepherd—in reality, the shepherd comes to the flock every morning, calls the sheep by name, and they follow him through the gate. Is it Christ—the Good Shepherd—that we truly follow in our life or something or someone else?
- – The sheep receives eternal life—Jesus declares in the gospel: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” Nobody can snatch the sheep out of the hands of Christ. As St. Paul tells us, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” Let us then be grateful for this great promise.
We pray to our Good Shepherd that we may never wander away from him!