FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
April 25, 2021
EASTER SUNDAY 4
WORD of the DAY
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. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. (John 10: 14-16)
How shall I live this Word?
The image of the shepherd has been repeatedly recalled by Jesus and, over the centuries, has come down to us through the most ancient catacomb iconography, and all Christian artistic production. But this shepherd, so present in the Gospel message, takes on the face of Christ today in this Gospel of John. The Teacher now speaks of Himself proclaiming Himself Messiah and sent by God to lead humanity to full life. He even lays down His own life for the salvation of the flock, “I will lay down my life for the sheep”. And He does not back away from the wolf, at the moment of danger He does not flee. He is ready to give Himself completely as a vicarious offering to the Father. A Father with whom He is in full intimacy. “I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.” This communion is certainly the one lived by Jesus in His earthly days within His community, with His disciples. But it is also a communion that transcends time, insofar as it will be lived in history between the Risen One and those He will attract to Himself, calling them from other folds. Having come for everyone, not only for Israel, and wanting to bring everyone to the fullness of life, Jesus is consumed by the desire that there be only one flock under one shepherd and that all the scattered children of God be gathered together. On the tomb of a Christian from the end of the second century, a certain Abercio, we read this inscription: “I am the disciple of a holy shepherd who has large eyes; his gaze reaches everyone.”
Almighty and merciful God, guide us to the possession of eternal joy, so that the humble flock of your faithful may reach where Christ, their Shepherd, preceded them. (Collect of today’s liturgy).
The Voice of Angelo Casati, Pastor and Poet
Jesus consoled and bandaged the wounds of life and lightened the burdens when others added weight to weight, and slowed His pace so that none of the flock would be left behind, not even the weakest..
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sanbiagio.org email@example.com Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com Comment by Fr. Enrico Emili