Our readings for ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’, the Fourth Sunday of Easter in Year C, are bound together by two overarching questions: Who do we listen to? and do we know what time it is? During Easter our readings proclaim the story of the Church’s universal mission. In the first reading we hear how St Paul evangelised first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles, extending that universal mission to all. In the Psalm we are reminded that we are His people, the sheep of His flock. The theme of the Good Shepherd who will not abandon his flock is at the heart of the Gospel. In the second reading we get a glimpse at the promised future for that united flock. The diverse multitude, who were persecuted for their faith, are finally gathered around the Lamb, forgiven and enjoying eternal life. They come from all languages, cultures, tribes and tongues. They listened to God as they lived their lives – persevering through the inevitable persecution and preaching the Good News, guided by the ever-present Good Shepherd who would not abandon them. But what about the Bad Shepherds in our lives? Join Matthew Charlesworth SJ as he explores these readings and asks each one of us: How do you listen for the voice of Christ in your life? When and where have you encountered that voice? How have you responded to it?
Read the texts in your Bible or hover your mouse over the references below to see the texts:
Acts 13:14,43-52; Psalm 100; Revelation 7:9,14-17; John 10:27-30
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Stained glass: Alfred Handel, 1946(2), photo: Toby Hudson, Wikimedia