READINGS: 1.Acts 2:14a.36-41 
                     2.1Pet 2:20b-25
                     3.Jn 10: 1-10

From the 1st reading, Peter described Jesus as the Public man  who had lived among them doing good to every body and then accused them of serious crime" you took (him) and had( him) crucified by men outside the law( Acts 2:23). The people respond to these words by repentance proclaiming their readiness to accept the will of God " what must we do? " ( Acts 2:37).
Message: All of us must be willing to accept truth. Having renounced sin we seek conversion; we want to change our way of thinking and our style of life. Peter's words should persuade us to adopt the only honest  attitude, one of humble listening and willingness to change.

From the second reading: In this reading Peter considers the case of Christians slaves. Some of them were owned by kind masters and others by hard men. Often have not only injustices inflicted on them by their owners, but also the taunts of their fellow slaves who snare at those who endeavor to lead a life in accordance with their Baptism . What should these slaves do? Peter teaches and shows us what Jesus did when he was treated unjustly? did he teach revenge? the answer is that he did not because that was the old way of doing things. As Christians we are called to be Christ like. We have to look at our lives in a new dimension and not in an old dimension( We are invited to have the spirit of torelance and Forgiveness)

From the Gospel reading: The Fourth Sunday of Easter is called " Good shepherd Sunday" because it makes use of John 10 for all 3 Years of the Liturgical year.
Let's first of all look at the Shepherds. At time they were not considered good, kind and sweet people we imagine to day. Quite the opposite. They were strong, violent men. They were despised for their wild ways. They were considered impure, dishonest, and deceitful. It's under this background that Jesus from his birth chose to befriend them and God arranged so that they were the first to receive the good news of salvation. The Scripture describes God as Shepherd who brings security and peace to his people. The Lord ( Psalm 120:8) tells us that " the Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time and for ever more". Even Leaders of God's people are called Shepherds. They shall lead them out and bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep which have no Shepherd( Numbers 27:1)

Just as a Shepherd kept watch over his sheep and protected them from danger so Jesus stands watch over his people as the Shepherd and Guardian of our Souls ( 1 Pet 2:25). 

St. Augustine, the Church Father, had this to say about the sheep in relation to green pasture. " The Pastures that this good Shepherd has prepared  for you, in which he has settled you, for you take your fill are not various kind of Grasses and green things among which some are sweet to the taste, some extremely bitter, which as the season succeed one another are sometimes not. Your Pastures are the words of God and his Commandments and they have all been sown as sweet grasses. These Pastures had been tasted by that man who said to God " how sweet are your words to my palate more so that the honey and the honey comb in my mouth.

Jesus Christ laid down his own life for his sheep that within our mystery he might change his body and blood into food and nourish the sheep he had redeemed with the food of his own flesh. He has shown us the way we must follow despite the fear of death. The first duty laid on us is to use our Worldly goods in mercy for those in need/ for the needs of his ships and if necessary give even our lives for them.( Here we are reminded the sense of responsibility in our families, Communities and in Society at Large, our availability to our brothers and sisters in need is of paramount importance.

  • We hear people telling us things. They all promise us security, happiness, wealth, and Pleasure. They all sound like Shepherds who want to help us, but are they really? to know them we must train ourselves to recognize the Shepherd by his voice.
  • There people who put themselves forward as Shepherds. They go around speaking about Christ and Salvation but they preach violence. They speak of human rights but they violate the same human rights and have no respect for real freedom. They say they uphold the dignity of people but are merely looking out for themselves, can they really be Shepherds?No, they are robbers and brigands and sheep are afraid of them. They do not know them.
  • He says that all who came before him were thieves and brigands( Acts 2:8), Nevertheless, he did not mean the good people of old Testament. The thieves were religious leaders and Politicians of his time who exploited the people. The brigands were those who promised a better future through violence.

 Let's examine our lives, are we good Shepherds or are we more  like brigands?

Praised be Jesus Christ( Laudamus Iesus Christus)

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