Reflection for Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A)…
Leading from the Front…
The image used for Jesus in the Gospel today is that of a shepherd. A familiar scene in rural parts of Africa is the shepherd with his flock of sheep. But instead of being behind them and urging them onwards, as would be the case in my country, the shepherd in fact leads them, goes ahead of them. The shepherd keeps a the look-out and if one of the sheep strays he would give a sharp whistle and immediately the stray would join the flock. It is quite clear it knows his special whistle and trusts him to lead it to good pastures. It was a similar scene in Jesus’ time.
Today, Good Shepherd Sunday, is Vocations Sunday we need to ask ourselves two important questions:
Am I a faithful member of God’s flock?
How could I participate more closely in the work of shepherding God’s flock?
Popes and bishops as well as parents, schoolteachers, church ministers, all disciples of Jesus etc – all participate in various forms of shepherding God’s flock. How can I be a better shepherd reaching out with understanding and compassion to the weak and misguided dropouts of church and society, so that through me they may hear the loving voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd and be led to “good pastures”?
Let us pray for genuine vocations to the priesthood, religious life and the lay state.
“Lord Jesus, may I allow you to be the Good Shepherd in all areas of my life?”
– Fr Jim Kirstein SMA
Blackrock Road, Cork