Fourth Sunday of Easter
Reading 1 ACTS 2:14A, 36-41
Responsorial Psalm PS 23:1-2A, 3B-4, 5, 6
Reading 2 1 PT 2:20B-25
Gospel JN 10:1-10
There is this common misconception among people today that following God does not lead to freedom and happiness. Instead it enslaves one to a distant God that does not really care about them. The question arises in people, ¨I mean, come on! If He really wanted your happiness would he make you follow all those crazy rules?¨ This question is posed
and raised on many occasions to anyone who says they follow God and his commandments. But in this Sunday’s gospel we hear nothing but the opposite. Instead of following God’s voice to despair we follow it to LIFE. The passage of the Good Shepherd gives a different insight into the heart of God. He is not this distant “watchmaker”, as the Deists think of Him, but is a close shepherd to his sheep. He gave his life for his sheep and is constantly watching over them, seeking the lost, and protecting them with all the love in his heart.
There is nothing more uncomfortable than to be in a very large crowd and feel like a total NOBODY. I remember an experience of being in New York City two weeks before Christmas and there were literally so many people you almost felt like your feet were not touching the sidewalk. I remember feeling so small and that nobody knew my name. I was just one among the many. We as human beings feel the need to be loved in a personal way. God loves us this way. He says that, “He calls his own sheep by NAME!¨ This shows us that God knows each one of us personally. We are not a face in the crowd to Him but we are His treasured creation. WE ARE LOVED PERSONALLY BY GOD! And He came so that, ¨we might have life and have it more abundantly.¨ God wants us to not only survive our way through life but to LIVE. He wants us to live life to the full, love much and enjoy every minute He gives us, so that when our time comes we can go join Him in eternal happiness! This, my friends, is the Good Shepherd who calls us by name!