Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year A, 30th April 2023

‘I am the gate’

On this Good Shepherd Sunday, the Gospel for each yearly cycle is always taken from St John, chapter 10, where Jesus speaks of himself as a Good Shepherd.

In today’s Gospel (Year A), Jesus is comparing and contrasting himself with those religious leaders who lack any real commitment or sense of responsibility to the ones in their care. The sheep do not recognise such leaders, but they do know, and are ready to follow, the Good Shepherd who alone enters by the gate. Jesus is warning his listeners to be discerning about those they listen to and those they follow.

The Psalm, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’, tells us that God is always caring for us, as a shepherd cares for the sheep.  In the First Reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, we hear Peter calling all to conversion, while the Second Reading is a reminder that when we do stray, we can always return to the Lord.

Today is also known as Vocations Sunday. So perhaps this week, I could ponder the following questions: On what am I spending my energies? Who do I listen to and follow? How am I giving witness to my faith? What contribution am I making to the building up of truth, love, justice and tolerance? How, and from where, do I hear the Good Shepherd in my daily life?

Let’s pray for the grace to trust the gift of the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us, that we might have faith in the One who has called and is calling us. Amen.