It is 26th April 2015. The 4th Sunday of the Easter. It is the Good Shepherd’s Sunday and the World Day of Prayer for Vocations as we continue to reflect the Risen Lord. The readings are from Acts.4:8-12; 1Jn.3:1-2 and Jn.10:11-18. In today’s first reading, Peter asserts unequivocally before the Jewish assembly that there is no salvation except through Christ the Good Shepherd “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.” (Act.4:12). The Responsorial Psalm praises, “The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.”(Ps.118:22). In the second reading, St. John tells us that we are God’s children even though the world does not recognise that way because it has failed to know God Himself. In the Gospel, Jesus clarifies to Pharisees who He is. Jesus’ answer is “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (Jn.10:11). Jesus claims that as a good shepherd he knows his sheep and loves them so much that he is ready to die for them. The Gospel text offers us both comfort and challenge. The comforting good news is that Jesus the Good Shepherd knows us, provides for us and loves us. The challenge is that we should become good shepherds to those entrusted to our care and good sheep in our parish, the sheepfold of Jesus the Good Shepherd. The priest in charge of a parish is called pastor because pastor means shepherd of Christ’s sheep. As a shepherd, he leads, feeds, nurtures, comforts, corrects, and protects Christ’s sheep in the parish. The earliest Christians saw Jesus as the fulfilment of a good shepherd. Let us pray for our pastors who lead us to God. Let us also remember to pray for vocations.

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