Year C – Fourth Sunday of Easter – April 21, 2013 – Gospel Reflection

Acts 13:14, 43-52; Psalm 100:1-2, 3, 5; Revelation 7:9, 14b-17; John 10:14; John 10:27-30

The oldest image of Jesus found in the early church is the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd carrying home on his shoulders a lost sheep.  The image of the Good Shepherd is the most common of the symbolic representations of Christ found in Early Christian art in the Catacombs of Rome, before Christian imagery could be made explicit.  The images portrayed Jesus with a big smile on his face as he carried around his neck a very large sheep.  The joy on the shepherd’s face was palpable.  Today Jesus speaks of how the sheep know his voice, so they follow him.  He takes them to eternal life.  This eternal life is the destiny of those who follow the Good Shepherd, hear his call to live in communion with him, and carry out what he has taught them.  The most comforting promise is found in his words, “No one can take them out of my hands.”  Just like that shepherd who firmly carried his sheep around his neck, Jesus holds on to us and does not let us go.  Jesus is not boasting here, but he himself knows that the Father has entrusted us to him, and he participates in the strength of the Father because they are one. 

Do you need the Good Shepherd to rescue you from any particular danger or threat? 

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