May 3, 2020
Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A)
Readings for Today
“But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. ” John 10:2-4
Four things happen in this story:
First, the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd.
Second, the shepherd calls his own sheep by name.
Third, the sheep hear his voice.
Fourth, the shepherd leads the sheep through the gate.
Who is the “gatekeeper?” Saint Augustine says that one answer to this is that the gatekeeper is the Holy Spirit. The role of the Holy Spirit is to open our minds to the truth, to a deeper understanding of Scripture, and therefore, to a deeper understanding of Christ Himself. Therefore, the Holy Spirit will open your mind and your heart to know and love Christ as your shepherd, if you let Him.
Once this happens, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, will speak your name, personally. Not audibly, but through the gift of faith. You are not only one of many sheep; rather, you are His dear one whom He knows and loves on an intimate and personal level. Therefore, this passage calls us to an intimate and personal relationship with Christ the Good Shepherd.
Knowing we are personally and intimately loved by Christ, that we are called by name, invites and encourages us to listen. Do you listen? And if you listen, do you hear? “Hearing” Christ speak to us in this personal and intimate way should motivate us to action.
What action? To be led. Normally a shepherd walks behind the sheep and they run on ahead. But in this story, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, Who calls you by name, leads you “through the gate.” Jesus Himself is the Gate. We are called to become one with Him and, through Him, to enter into the bosom of the Father in Heaven. Through Him we enter into new life itself, life of union with Him Who is our Shepherd.
Reflect, today, upon this fourfold journey to which you are called. Pray to the Holy Spirit that your mind and heart will be opened to know and love Christ. Then prayerfully listen for Christ to speak to you. Hear Him, respond to Him and allow Him to draw you into His open heart of perfect love.
Holy Spirit, please open my ears to the Voice of the Good Shepherd and my mind to all that He speaks. My precious Lord Jesus, You are my Shepherd, I choose, this day, to follow Your voice when You speak, and to do so with complete trust and abandon. I love You, my Lord, and I thank you for loving me with such tender and intimate care. Jesus, my Good Shepherd, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day – Saints Philip and James, Apostles
Not celebrated as a liturgical memorial this year since it falls on Sunday