Fourth Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday), Year B, 21st April 2024

‘They too will listen to my voice …’

We continue our journey through Eastertide, experiencing the joy of the Risen Lord. This fourth Sunday of Easter traditionally features Jesus as the Good Shepherd, and is also kept annually as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

In the First Reading, Peter explains that the miracle he has been able to perform came not from him, but from the name of Jesus Christ, the keystone rejected by the builders.

The Psalm, normally sung by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem, is a thanksgiving prayer from someone who has been rescued from an ordeal. It uses the same cornerstone image as the First Reading. Like Peter, the psalmist acknowledges the Lord as his Saviour.

The writer of the Second Reading stresses that we are God’s children. Although we might find the path difficult, and feel unsure of what the future holds, we will be transformed into God’s likeness when we meet him.

In the Gospel, Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd, who is prepared to lay down his life for us; he knows us intimately and wants to bring everyone into his fold.

On this Day of Prayer for Vocations, we might pray that everyone should be willing and able to fulfil their own vocation. We continue to pray for war-torn countries, that they will find a Good Shepherd to guide them out of conflict.