The Fourth Sunday of Easter is also called the Good Shepherd Sunday, because Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10:27-30). It helps us meditate on the life of Christ after the Resurrection which means that he cannot die again. He is the Good Shepherd who is capable of leading us to eternal life, which has already begun within us since we were baptized
Unlike the Good Shepherd, the hired shepherd does not look for his sheep when it is lost. Jesus, the Good Shepherd spent his life searching for his lost sheep. The lost sheep of Jesus are those who have lost their way in life. They are like the lost sheep who do not feel at home where they dwell. The lost sheep does not recognize those who are near to it, because day in and day out it sees them as strangers. The lost sheep does not feel secure each day and night, because it does not feel the protection of its shepherd. Ultimately, the lost sheep is afraid to go forward, because it cannot be sure of the direction that leads it home safely and securely. Thus, the lost sheep can only wait for the Good Shepherd and his helpers to find it. The Good Shepherd does not rest until all his sheep come back to the sheepfold safely. When finding the lost sheep, the Good Shepherd heals its wounds, gives it food for nourishment, and offers it protection. Then Good Shepherd carries his lost sheep on his shoulders with gentle mercy and kindness, he brings it back to where it feels at home.
Jesus is our Good Shepherd, and we are his sheep. Jesus has come that we may have life and have it to the full. On this Good Shepherd Sunday, let us be generous in responding and praying for vocations to the priesthood in New Zealand. We pray for our Bishops and priests who are friends of Christ and pastors of his sheep.
Fr Tien Cao – Assistant Priest