4th Sunday of Easter
May 3rd, 2020
Meaningful Quote: I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10
Commentary: “This fourth Sunday of the Easter season is sometimes called Good Shepherd Sunday because the Gospel reading invites us to reflect on Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Throughout John’s Gospel the Pharisees fail to accept Jesus’ ministry and teaching. They show themselves to be “robbers and thieves” because they try to lead the sheep without entering through the gate, Jesus. Through these metaphors, Jesus is telling his listeners that those who follow him and his way will find abundant life. He identifies himself both as the shepherd and the gate. The shepherds who are faithful to him are the ones whom the sheep (Jesus’ disciples) should follow. The relationship between the sheep and their shepherd is based on familiarity. Sheep recognize their shepherd and will not follow a stranger. At the end of the day, shepherds lead their sheep from pastures to a common gated area called a sheepfold. There, one shepherd protects all of the sheep until the next day when each shepherd returns to lead his own sheep to pasture. As shepherds move among the sheep, the sheep follow only their shepherd. Today’s Gospel also gives us the opportunity to reflect on Christian leadership. Jesus’ words suggest to us that those who will lead the Christian community will be known by their faithfulness to Jesus. The leaders will recognize that Jesus is the gate for all of the sheep and that having a good relationship with Jesus is the primary characteristic of a Christian leader. Jesus’ allegory also suggests that faithful Christian leadership requires a good relationship with the community: the shepherd knows his sheep, and they know him. Christian leaders follow the example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, by being faithful to him and by being a good shepherd.” https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/sunday-connection
1. Have you ever watched how shepherds work with their sheep? Shepherds often have helpers, sheep dogs who gather the flock. Would you consider being a sheep dog among your peers, to guide them to make good choices?
2. When have you followed the example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd?
3. Besides Jesus himself, who is a Good Shepherd in your life?
Other Resources for Lectio Divina of John 10: 1-10
Loyola Press Sunday Connection YearA 4th Sunday of Easter
Carmelites 4th Sunday of Easter Year A
Comboni Youth 4th Sunday of Easter Year A
National Catholic Reporter Fourth Sunday of Easter: Get caught up
Song Lyrics – Like A Shepherd by Don Moen
Like a father feeds his children / Like a shepherd leads his flock
The Lord will always guide us / Show us where to walk / And in times when we have plenty / In times when we have not / He is our Provider and His mercy never stops.
Like a shepherd he leads us / Like a father He feeds us / From the morning to the evening till the sunrise again / Like a shepherd He leads us / Like a father He feeds us / He is the great I AM.
As we come into His presence / Confessing Him as Lord / His Holy Spirit leads us and He feeds us by His word / We’re seated at His table / partaking of His love / children of His kingdom / Purchased by His blood.
Video Divina uses movies, YouTube and Vimeo videos, clips Television and Streaming Services as a way of coming closer to God. The term is being used in Montreal by Fr. Lloyd Baugh S.J.
In this continuation of Jesus’ giving sight to the man born blind, Jesus claims that he is the shepherd whom the sheep trust, and that he is the gate itself keeping the sheep safe. Erin Gruwell in Freedom Writers is a teacher who looks upon her students as her flock to guide and protect, as well as introducing them to the wondrous world of books —and who makes an enormous sacrifice for them. Ed Mc Nulty, Visual Parables.
A Method of Visio Divina
- Pray in quiet with your eyes closed. Bring yourself towards stillness.
- Gaze at the image. Let your eyes rest on the characters and objects. Note your feelings as you examine the whole and parts of the work.
- Read or listen to accounts of the events. They might be scripture, insights into the work, guided meditation
- Gaze at the work again. Imagine that you are in this scene. What do you see from your vantage point? What you hear? smell? sense?
- How is the sacred present to you in this experience?
- How does this Visio Divina relate to your life now?
- What insight from this experience do you want to retain? How will you do that?
- Complete the Visio Divina by offering a prayer of thanksgiving.
- Notes: This method can be adapted to individual or group settings. Periods of silence should be included according to comfort level.
Gathering the Flock, by Eugène Joseph Verboekhoven (1798-1881), oil on canvas, painted in 1839, © The New Art Gallery Walsall, United Kingdom
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice Christian.Art
Reflection on the Painting
Eugène Verboeckhoven was a Belgian painter, a sculptor, an etcher, an engraver, and a lithographer mainly known for his depction of animals set in landscapes. We see a shepherd lovingly looking after his sheep, consiting of rams, lambs, and various breeds of sheep, symbolic for the universaility of the flock and the Church as such. With a storm brewing in the left half of the painting, he probably wants to bring his sheep back to the sun and lighter weather in the right half of the painting.
The mention of sheep is a recuring theme in the Gospels and therefore is often used by artists as a favourite theme, to create subtle Christian artworks:
– lambs represent Christ, as both suffering and triumphant.
– sheep were traditionally a sacrificial animal, but also symbolise gentleness, innocence, and purity. When put together alongside other sheep, they represent communitity life
– rams speak of power, strength, determination, and fearlessness we need to have in our faith
– the shepherd represents the Good Shepherd: Jesus not only as one who guards his flock from threats and dangers (the storm in the background), but also as one who guides the way to better places. ‘I know my sheep and they follow me’
Liturgy Tools 4th Sunday of Easter Year A
Wikimedia Images The Good Shepherd