Archives: Year A-v.1 -Year B-v.2 - Year C-v.3
THROUGH THE LITURGICAL YEAR (Vol. 14, n. 21)
Fourth Sunday of Easter
April 22, 2018
“JESUS SAVIOR: He Is the Shepherd Who Saves”
(+) In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
(A moment of silence)
SONG: An Easter song, a Eucharistic hymn or another appropriate song may be sung.
WORDS OF LUIS DE LEON
(Cf. Meditation on the Sunday Gospels, Year B, ed. John Rotelle, NY: New York City Press, 1966, p. 58-59)
Jesus is not only a shepherd, but he is a shepherd as no other has previously existed … Christ is born to be a shepherd, and before birth he wished to be born for that, so that he descended from heaven and he became man-shepherd, as he himself says, to seek out man, the lost sheep … He died for the good of his flock, which no other shepherd did. He snatched us from the teeth of the wolf. He consented to offer himself as victim to the wolf … He is at the same time shepherd and pasture and that in feeding his sheep he gives himself to them … Then and now and later, in all time and at every hour, he nourishes men in a thousand secretive and marvelous ways. On earth he feeds them, and in heaven he will also be their Shepherd when he will lead them there … They will live eternally with him; he will live with them, communicating his own life to them, having become their shepherd and their pasture.
Leader: Almighty and ever-living God,
give us new strength
from the courage of Christ our shepherd,
and lead us to join the saints in heaven,
where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
JESUS MASTER TRUTH
Listening to the Word
FIRST READING: Acts 4:8-12
GOSPEL READING: Jn 10:11-18
POINTS FOR REFLECTION
The evangelist John’s account of the Good Shepherd and the hired man should be seen in the light of Ezekiel 34. In this passage, the prophet Ezekiel announces the Lord God’s indictment of the irresponsible and thieving leaders of Israel, who were feeding themselves upon the flock, rather than shepherding them. So the Lord God would take away from them the flock they have ill-treated and become the shepherd himself. The evangelist John sees all this accomplished in Jesus. The compassionate God has become the shepherd of his people in Jesus, the Messiah and the Son of David.
Jesus is the ultimate Shepherd, exceedingly loved by the Father because he lays down his life for the sheep. His act of total, loving self-sacrifice is in sharp contrast to the miserable shepherding of the false leaders of his time. Indeed, Jesus is able to accomplish his role as the Good Shepherd of the Father’s flock because he and the Father are one. Upon the cross, Christ’s pastoral mission is brought to fulfillment. The radical pastoral mission that the Good Shepherd completed on the cross needs to be actualized in the “here and now” by the Church, the flock that the glorified Jesus continues to shepherd. By virtue of our configuration to Jesus Master-Shepherd in the sacraments of Christian initiation, we assume the responsibility of taking care of the flock and gathering into one all his scattered sheep. As we lovingly and faithfully carry out today Christ’s pastoral mission, let us remember that his care for his sheep is a total ministry.
SONG: Any Eucharistic hymn or suitable song of praise may be sung.
JESUS MASTER WAY
Confrontation with the Word
POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART
Leader: We open our hearts to listen to the promptings of the living Word. Let us ask ourselves with limpid honesty:
1. Do we truly recognize and acknowledge the compassionate heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and his saving action at work in our lives? How do we respond to the sacrificial and ultimate act of love of the Good Shepherd, who lays down his life for his sheep?
2. The apostles confessed and gave witness to the salvation in Jesus, the source of healing, and they healed in his name. Are we ready to communicate and share his healing love to a distressed flock in need of the care of the Good Shepherd? Do we believe in faith that we too are called to heal “in the name of Jesus”? Are we willing to take up the pastoral ministry of Jesus and be the life-giving and self-sacrificing shepherds of his people today?
3. How do we testify in today’s world and modern society concerning the absolute character of Christ’s salvation: that there is no salvation through anyone else, but in the name of Jesus who was crucified and raised from the dead? Are we zealous and efficacious witnesses of the Good Shepherd who saves?
PRAYING WITH THE WORD
Leader: Loving Father,
the Shepherd who saves is your Son Jesus Christ,
who was crucified and raised from the dead.
He freely laid down his life for his sheep.
In dying for his flock he became the source of healing,
freeing them from their misery and brokenness.
We pray you give us the compassionate heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Grant us the courage to comfort the sick,
to assist the wounded,
to heal the broken hearted
and to lead into freedom
those crippled by the violence of sin, misery and injustice.
Help us to touch the suffering
with the healing power of Jesus, the saving Lord
and enable us cure in his holy name.
Like the apostles Peter and John,
fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit,
the astounding gift of the Risen Lord-Eternal Shepherd.
Renew our strength as Easter witnesses
and make us efficacious channels of the abounding love
of the Good Shepherd who saves.
May we be transformed into worthy new leaders
and faithfully shepherd the anguished people of today
who need your love and care.
In Jesus alone is our salvation
and in participating in his pastoral care,
may we eternally relish the fresh green pasture in our heavenly homeland,
where he lives and reigns forever and ever.
Acting upon the Word
CONTEMPLATING WITH MARY THE FACE OF CHRIST: The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary may be prayed in part or in full.
THE WAY OF SOLIDARITY: PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
Leader: Christ, the Shepherd who saves, has made known to us the life that lasts forever. With faith and joy let us cry out to him, saying:
(R.) LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYER.
1. For the Pope’s Universal Intention for this month of April: For those who have responsibility in economic matters: that economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to pen new paths. We pray: (R.)
2. You are present to all who preach your Gospel, and give power to their words. Make us today preachers of your resurrection by our holiness of life. We pray: (R.)
3. Be our great joy that no one can take from us, so that we may reject sin with its sadness, and reach out to eternal life. We pray: (R.)
4. Through your resurrection the crippled man was healed at the gate of the temple. Look on the sick and reveal in them the power of your glory. We pray: (R.)
5. For today’s shepherds of the Church that they may truly have the compassion, insight, care, fidelity and love of the Good Shepherd who saves. We pray: (R.)
(Other prayers may be added.)
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Leader: God of mercy,
may the Easter mystery we celebrate
be effective throughout our lives.
We beseech you fill us with the love of the Good Shepherd who saves.
He lives and reigns forever and ever.
FINAL SONG: Any suitable Eucharistic hymn or song of praise may be sung.
*** *** ***
Prepared by Sr. Mary Margaret Tapang PDDM
PIAE DISCIPULAE DIVINI MAGISTRI
SISTER DISCIPLES OF THE DIVINE MASTER
60 Sunset Ave., Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. (718) 494-8597 // (718) 761-2323