Ø The central theme of today’s Gospel is Jesus, the good Shepherd, who is the gate of the sheep and for the sheep.
Ø In the first and second readings Peter reminds us that Jesus has suffered in the hands of sinners.
Ø He who did not know sin, and in whose mouth no evil was found, suffered silently.
Ø His wounds have cured us
Ø The theme of Jesus’ suffering is present during the whole time of Easter.
Ø The Risen Lord has the marks of the nails and of the spear, so that we do not forget his death even during the joyful time of Easter.
Ø Today the universal Church prays for vocations of special consacration, let us ask the Lord to send laborers into his field. Let us ask the Lord that young men and women may follow his call to work in his vineyard.
FIRST READING – Acts 2: 14a, 36-41
« Peter is with the eleven, this means that Matthias had already been elected in the place of Judas.
« He stands up and proclaims the kerygma, the proclamation of Jesus as Lord and Christ.
« Peter announces solemnly that they crucified Jesus whom the Father has made Lord and Christ,
« On hearing that they were deeply distressed.
« Are we so distressed when we hear these words? We have also crucified the Lord many times during our life, especially when we have hurt anyone of our brothers and sisters.
« But we always have hope, Peter invites them to repent, to be sorry for their sin and to be baptized.
« Many of us are already baptized, but we always have the opportunity of the “second baptism”, the sacrament of reconciliation.
« The promise of the Holy Spirit made to the people of Israel is also for his descendants.
« We are the new people of Israel, we also participate in this promise.
« Peter continues to proclaim, and many accept and are baptized.
« Those who have been baptized become part of the little community of believers in Jesus, the Lord and Christ.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 23
The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I shall want
The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want
In verdant pastures he gives me repose
Besides restful waters he leads me
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me in right paths
For his name’s sake
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
That give me courage
You spread the table before me
In the sight of my foes
You anoint my head with oil
My cup overflows
Only goodness and kindness follow me
All the days of my life
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
For years to come.
v Psalm 23 is one of the most beautiful psalms.
v It speaks about unbound and filled with peace trust in the shepherd.
v The shepherd is always there, with his staff which give security and trust.
v The shepherd who leads the sheep to peaceful places of repose, where pasture and water are abundant.
v The shepherd who accompanies the sheep until the end of its life.
v Do we trust in this same way in our shepherd, Jesus?
SECOND READING 1Pe 2:20b-25
Ø We continue reading the first letter of Peter.
Ø Peter says to his community that to suffer being innocent is a grace, is a gift.
Ø Because to this we have been called in order to be like Christ.
Ø He suffered and has left us and example so that we may also learn to suffer like him.
Ø He did not insult, or threaten, but he handed himself over to those who judged him unjustly, and for whom he also offered his sufferings.
Ø Is this our behavior when we are treated or judged unjustly?
Ø He carried our sins in his body nailed to the cross, so that on being liberated from our sin we could serve God faithfully.
Ø If Jesus had not accepted the cross, we would never had been able to offer our works to God, we would not even had been able to do good works.
Ø We were going astray as sheep and we have come back to the shepherd and guardian of our souls, Christ our Lord and Shepherd.
Ø Do we remember to give thanks for all that our shepherd and king has done for us? And for his continuous care for us?
GOSPEL – Jn 10:1-10
ü Jesus says that whoever does not enter through the gate of the sheepfold is a thief and a robber.
ü The shepherd enters through the gate
ü The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice.
ü The shepherd calls them by name, each one is especial for him. Let us remember that some place else in the Gospel of Luke Jesus tells the story of the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep and goes in search of the one that went astray.
ü The shepherd goes before the sheep and leads them, they know his voice and they follow him.
ü Jesus says clearly that he is the gate of the sheep.
ü That the sheep do not follow strangers, but they follow him because they know him.
ü On Reading this it came to my mind the question, those who leave the church, the community and do not come back, is it because in our words and actions they do not recognize the shepherd, Jesus?
ü Jesus repeats again that he is the door, that who enters through him, will be saved and will enter and come back and will find good and abundant pastures.
ü The image of the door is very eloquent and very beautiful:
o The place where the sheep are kept did not have a gate
o It was a circular place with an opening to enter and to leave.
o The shepherd allowed the sheep to enter at night and he sleep at the entrance thus being the gate himself.
o If a robber or a wild animal wanted to enter into the sheepfold it would have to be through the shepherd.
o This is the image which Jesus presents to us when he says that he is the gate.
o We may be at peace and secure because our shepherd takes care of us, and he has come so that we may have abundant life.
o Are we thus at peace when we are with him?
ü The whole passage has a exceptional beauty, and it transmit a peace which only the Lord can give.
ü Why do we still fear? Has he not given us enough proofs that he loves us?
ü The Pope in his short daily message says today “Do not be afraid, open the doors to Christ.”
My companion and the three young ladies were firm in this conviction so that they were admired by everybody on the ship at the moment of saying goodbye to their parents. The latter, full of pain for the separation, were not able to hide their tears, and the daughters, with the joyful modesty shown by the smile on their lips more than by the tears in their eyes, bit them the last farewell. Those who said that they were handing five doves up to the hands of wild wolves were not wanting. But, O the infinite power of God who turns wild wolves to mildest lambs. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 137.
O my Jesus, give me your holy grace so that I may imitate you perfectly in practicing all the virtues. As you well know, I can do all things with you and absolutely nothing without you.
Love is the most necessary of all the virtues. Yes, I say it and will say it a thousand times: the virtue an apostolic missionary needs most of all is love. He must love God, Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his neighbors. If he lacks this love, all his talents, however fine in themselves, are for nothing. But if, together with his natural endowments, he has much love, he has everything. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 437-38.
CLARET, Anthony Mary . Autobiography.
PAPA FRANCISCO, Vatican web page.
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiography.
STOCK, Klemens. La Liturgia de la Palabra – Ciclo A