WALKING THROUGH A MINED-FIELD

Fourth Sunday of EasterLectionary: 49


Reading 1 ACTS 2:14A, 36-41
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,

raised his voice, and proclaimed:

“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain

that God has made both Lord and Christ,

this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart,

and they asked Peter and the other apostles,

“What are we to do, my brothers?”

Peter said to them,

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you,

in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;

and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

For the promise is made to you and to your children

and to all those far off,

whomever the Lord our God will call.”

He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them,

“Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

Those who accepted his message were baptized,

and about three thousand persons were added that day.

Responsorial Psalm PS 23: 1-3A, 3B4, 5, 6
R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

or:

R. Alleluia.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

In verdant pastures he gives me repose;

beside restful waters he leads me;

he refreshes my soul.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

or:

R. Alleluia.

He guides me in right paths

for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk in the dark valley

I fear no evil; for you are at my side.

With your rod and your staff

that give me courage.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

or:

R. Alleluia.

You spread the table before me

in the sight of my foes;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows. 

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Only goodness and kindness follow me

all the days of my life;

and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD

for years to come.

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 1 PT 2:20B-25
Beloved:

If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good,

this is a grace before God.

For to this you have been called,

because Christ also suffered for you,

leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.

He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.
When he was insulted, he returned no insult;

when he suffered, he did not threaten;

instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.

He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross,

so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.

By his wounds you have been healed.

For you had gone astray like sheep,

but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Alleluia JN 10:14
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;

I know my sheep, and mine know me.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 10:1-10
Jesus said:

“Amen, amen, I say to you,

whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate

but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.

But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.

The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,

as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

When he has driven out all his own,

he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,

because they recognize his voice.

But they will not follow a stranger;

they will run away from him,

because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”

Although Jesus used this figure of speech,

the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,

I am the gate for the sheep.

All who came before me are thieves and robbers,

but the sheep did not listen to them.

I am the gate.

Whoever enters through me will be saved,

and will come in and go out and find pasture.

A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;

I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

REFLECTION: WALKING THROUGH A MINED-FIELD

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” –Psalm 23:1
Few of us have ever pastured, fleeced, or slaughtered a sheep. So we don’t have the experience to understand the image of the Good Shepherd. Nevertheless, many people are fascinated with this image. Perhaps they instinctively know the deep and compelling need of the human person to be shepherded.
One of the main works of a shepherd is to guide the sheep. If we are on the road to eternal life, we are on a rough and narrow road (Mt 7:14). We are traveling through alien territory occupied by a “corrupt generation” (Acts 2:40, RNAB), a veritable “culture of death.” As we walk through this “valley of the shadow of death” (Ps 23:4, KJV), we unjustly suffer insults and persecution (see 1 Pt 2:21, 23). We are in danger of being stolen, slaughtered, and destroyed (Jn 10:10).
It is as if we are walking through a mined-field. Our next step can detonate an explosion in our families, marriages, work, health, etc. We can’t see the mines below the surface. We desperately need guidance. We need a shepherd, and a good one. Jesus says: “I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (Jn 10:11).
PRAYER: Jesus, Good Shepherd, may I hear Your voice and follow You (Jn 10:3).

PROMISE: “By His wounds you were healed.” –1 Pt 2:24

PRAISE: Glory be to You, Good Shepherd. We trust, adore, glorify, and worship You, our Savior and God.

P.S: It would be better if we heard today’s reading and reflection at the Church. Thanks.

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