Saturday, May 02, 2009

One Flock, One Shepherd

May 3, 2009

Fourth Sunday of Easter

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.

If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed. He is “the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” Acts 4:9-11

I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:14-15


O heavenly Father, You are a shepherd to the people who hear Your voice and obey Your commands. We pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire the church to call to those who, like sheep, have gone astray. May we learn to hear Your voice and recognize it in the rush and busyness of everyday life. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. (Garnet Schenk)


We become what we see. Two spouses looking on each other over the years begin to look like each other. When we see Christ in heaven we will be united to him by more than word and deed. Our love for him on earth will make us like him in heaven. Our Gospel challenges us to look at Christ on the cross and thus to be saved. Seeing Christ dying for us on the cross illumines our minds and hearts with love for him. Our vision brings an obligation to finish his work. No greater love has anyone than to give one’s life for another. This is the love of Christ we are invited to imitate. Christ says; “Love one another as I have loved you.” This is how our God rich in mercy brings us to life with Christ. We hold up Christ for imitation by how we live our Lent in offering ourselves by our prayer, fasting and good works for the peace our world so desperately needs. Acting in truth we hold Christ up to the world to make clear our deeds are done in God. Thus, we are saved in the Christ we become by living his love for one another and holding Christ up to our world to be seen in whom we have become in him.

This is what the parable of the Good Shepherd is all about. Jesus sees himself as the good shepherd and offers his life to protect us from ourselves and from our enemies. He does not run away from what is wrong in our world. We are called the children of God because we know the Father in knowing Christ. Christ is our real life if we invite him to be who we are. He came to us in our baptism. He reignites our baptism in us each time we are present to a baptism. It reminds us that we are born again into the life of Christ. We realize that the water and the blood that run from the pierced heart of Christ on the cross is the source of the Sacrament life of the Church. We discover new energy in belonging to the fold of Christ. We have the where with all to invite others into the same fold by our willingness to be a friend and to lead the friend to Christ. A friend in Christ is a friend forever.


The miracles of our lives are done by Christ. Friendships in Christ are the passing on to another the miracle of the healing force of Christ in our lives. There is no salvation through anyone else. Christ is the name by which we are all saved. Our piety, study and action are all connected together in Christ He gives us the name by which we are saved. The more I know about Christ, the more I am drawn to him. By his death goodness is a part of every life. Even the person who does not know Christ by name lives the name of Christ on their heart by the goodness of their lives. All goodness has its deepest meaning in Christ. We are all attracted the Christ life in each other because wherever there is love God is there and Christ is the meaning before God of the good we do for each other.

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