THE “DIED-FOR”

Monday of the Fourth Week of EasterLectionary: 279


Reading 1 ACTS 11:1-18
The Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea

heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God. 

So when Peter went up to Jerusalem

the circumcised believers confronted him, saying,

‘You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them.” 

Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying,

“I was at prayer in the city of Joppa

when in a trance I had a vision,

something resembling a large sheet coming down,

lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me. 

Looking intently into it,

I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth,

the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky. 

I also heard a voice say to me, ‘Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.’ 

But I said, ‘Certainly not, sir,

because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 

But a second time a voice from heaven answered,

‘What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.’ 

This happened three times,

and then everything was drawn up again into the sky.

Just then three men appeared at the house where we were,

who had been sent to me from Caesarea. 

The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating. 

These six brothers also went with me,

and we entered the man’s house. 

He related to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, saying,

‘Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter,

who will speak words to you 

by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 

As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them

as it had upon us at the beginning,

and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said,

‘John baptized with water

but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 

If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us

when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,

who was I to be able to hinder God?”

When they heard this,

they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying,

“God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 42:2-3; 43:3, 4
R. (see 3a) Athirst is my soul for the living God.

or:

R. Alleluia.

As the hind longs for the running waters,

so my soul longs for you, O God.

Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.

When shall I go and behold the face of God?

R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Send forth your light and your fidelity;

they shall lead me on

And bring me to your holy mountain,

to your dwelling-place.

R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Then will I go in to the altar of God,

the God of my gladness and joy;

Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,

O God, my God!

R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.

or:

R. Alleluia.

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 10:11-18
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.”

REFLECTION: THE “DIED-FOR”

“The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” –John 10:11
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, came that we “might have life more abundantly” (see Jn 10:10, RNAB). Paradoxically, life is given through death (see Jn 12:24). To give life to His sheep, Jesus the Good Shepherd laid down His life for His sheep (Jn 10:11, 15, 17). “There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life” (Jn 15:13). “It is rare that anyone should lay down his life for a just man, though it is barely possible that for a good man someone may have the courage to die. It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rm 5:7-8).
We, the “died-for,” can’t help but ask the question: “How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for me?” (Ps 116:12) “He died for all so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for Him Who for their sakes died and was raised up” (2 Cor 5:15). Lay down your life in love for the crucified and risen Jesus.
PRAYER: Jesus, You gave Your life for me. I give my life for You.

PROMISE: “As I began to address them the Holy Spirit came upon them, just as It had upon us at the beginning.” –Acts 11:15

PRAISE: Norma was afraid to ask Ron, her husband, to become a Catholic. Her priest, Father Ralph, simply asked Ron if he wanted to join the Church. Ron replied that he had been wanting to join. Ron grew in his faith and received Jesus daily in the Eucharist for many years.

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