Sunday, April 26, 2015

Gospel commented, "A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" Saint John 10:11-18

Acts of the Apostles 4:8-12. 
Peter, filled with the holy Spirit, answered them, "Leaders of the people and elders: 
If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, 
then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed. 
He is 'the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.' 
There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved." 

Psalms 118(117):1.8-9.21-23.26.28cd.29. 
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, 
for his mercy endures forever. 
It is better to take refuge in the LORD 
Than to trust in man. 
It is better to take refuge in the LORD 
Than to trust in princes. 

I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me 
and have been my savior. 
The stone which the builders rejected 
has become the cornerstone. 
By the LORD has this been done; 
it is wonderful in our eyes. 

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD; 
we bless you from the house of the LORD. 
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me 
and have been my savior. 
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; 
for his kindness endures forever. 

First Letter of John 3:1-2. 
Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 
Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 10:11-18. 
Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 
A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. 
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. 
I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, 
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. 
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father."

"A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep"

“I am the good shepherd”. Christ has every right to say: “I am”. For him nothing is either past or future; for him everything is in the present. This is what he says of himself in the book of Revelation: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning an the end, the one who is, who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev 1,8). And in Exodus: “I am who am. This is what you shall tell the Israelites: 'I am sent me to you' (Ex 3,14).

“I am the good shepherd”. The word “shepherd” comes from the word “to pasture”. Christ pastures us each day on his body and blood in the sacrament of the altar. Jesse, David's father, said to Samuel: “My youngest son is pasturing the sheep” (1Sam 16,11). Our very own David, lowly and humble like a good shepherd, pastures his sheep too...

We also read in Isaiah: “Like a shepherd he feeds his flock, in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom and leading the ewes with care” (Is 40,11)... And indeed, when the good shepherd leads his flock out to pasture, or when he brings them back, gathers together all the little lambs that are unable as yet to walk; he takes them in his arms, carries them in his bosom. He carries the mother ewes as well: those about to give birth or have just been delivered. So too does Jesus Christ: he feeds us every day on the Gospel teachings and sacraments of the Church. He gathers us in those arms that he stretched out on the cross “to gather into one the scattered children of God” (Jn 11,52). He has drawn us into the bosom of his mercies as a mother draws her child.

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