4th Sunday of Easter

Sunday, May 5, 2019
World Day of Prayer for Vocations
Good Shepherd Sunday

First reading: Ac. 13:14,43-52

Paul and Barnabas continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia. On the sabbath they entered the synagogue and took their seats. Many Jews and worshipers who were converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to remain faithful to the grace of God.

On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said. Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.”

The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord. All who were destined for eternal life came to believe, and the word of the Lord continued to spread through the whole region. The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers and the leading men of the city, stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium. The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Second reading: Rev. 7:9,14b-17

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.

Then one of the elders said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

“For this reason they stand before God’s throne and worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them. They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them. For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Gospel: Jn. 10:27-30

Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”

In other words Fr. Felix S. Ferrer, SVD (Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City)

Some of us, the sheep, are called to be shepherds. Here are five reasons why:

  1. People today can get lost in many ways—addictions, pornography, unsatisfying relationships, financial anxiety, suicidal despair. The work of the community of the disciples is to bring the Word and the love of God to those points of the journey where we are most lost.
  2. The compassion of God has sometimes not been mirrored in the Christian community’s approach to people when they are at their lowest. Jesus’ heart goes out to all, especially those in greatest need, because nobody can steal anyone from God—and nobody can steal God’s love from anyone.
  3. The call today is to give as best as we can of ourselves; in sharing love and compassion, kindness, and goodness, we lead others to God.
  4. The Good Shepherd has made shepherds out of the sheep. Only because we are at times lost ourselves can we lead others home. We are in a partnership with God and with each other in our own way.
  5. This is the meaning of Vocations Sunday. A vocation in the Christian sense is to take part in God’s work of saving His people and guiding them when they get lost.

God calls us to be guiding lights, even when at times we lose, and find again, the way on our journey to Him. We are those that need to be guided and be guides as well.

Tags: Bible reflection, Witness to the Word