Roman Rite – Fourth Easter Sunday – Year B – April 22, 2018
Acts 4.8-12; Ps 118; 1Jn 3, 1-2; Jn 10: 11-18
Acts 20.7-12; Ps 30; 1 Tim 4.22-16; Jn 10: 27-30
Fourth Easter Sunday
1) The Good Shepherd gives his life.
The passage from the Gospel of the Fourth Sunday of Easter is taken each year from chapter 10 of the Gospel of John and presents Jesus as the Good Shepherd. This year, year B, the Liturgy makes us read the central part of the chapter (vv-11-18) where it is stated that the Good Shepherd offers his life for his sheep and knows all of them.
Contrary to the mercenary who has only an interested relationship with the sheep, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows, namely loves, his own sheep. The relationship between Jesus and the believers is of a knowledge understood in the biblical sense: a bond of deep love. In fact, in the Bible, “knowledge” implies intimacy and mutual trust and it is the word generally used to indicate the conjugal relationship: “Adam knew Eve his wife, who conceived and gave birth …” (Gn 4, 1); “Behold, you will conceive a son, you will give him birth and call him Jesus” announces the angel to Mary who answers: “How will this be, since I know not man?” (Lk 1: 31-34). Therefore, when Jesus says: “I know my sheep and my sheep know me”, one can sense the depth of his love for us and with which depth he expects to be reciprocated.
This strong bond of loving knowledge between Jesus and us is based on the relationship between Jesus and the Father. This bond is expressed in giving his life for us (Jn 10, 14). This statement seems to be the same as that of John 10, 11, however, it is stronger. If in v. 11 “giving life” means being willing to put one’s own life at risk for the sheep, in v. 14 it literally means depriving oneself of life. This total gift of self is the specific attitude of Jesus, the one that has characterized his whole mission on earth and not only his passion and death.
This attitude of offering, a sign of a love ready to donate its life, emphasizes that we are his: ‘his sheep’ guarded with love and guided to life. On the contrary, mercenaries and opportunists treat men as ‘merchandise’ and not as people.
Today, each of us should ask ourselves these questions: “What ‘sheep’ of the flock am I? Am I the sheep ‘lost and found’ or do I remain ‘lost’? Am I the sheep who lets itself be led to find rest in Him, am I the sheep ‘wounded or sick’ and do I let him wrap or cure me? “If our answer will be positive, we will follow Christ and, when we struggle to walk, He will put us on his shoulders.
2) Following Christ the Good Shepherd.
To follow Christ like docile sheep does not mean being naive, foolish and blindly obedient. It means being humble, trusting and letting oneself be picked up with a loving abandonment in Him who walks with us and for us. Moreover, being humble and trusting towards Jesus does not mean not using intelligence, because humility is the virtue that predisposes the intelligence to faith and the heart to love.
To follow Christ as sheep conscious of being loved and not discarded means letting ourselves be guided by him, our saint and good Shepherd, to the eternal pastures of heaven. He is Shepherd because he is lamb. It is written, in fact: “The lamb will be their shepherd and will lead them to the springs of the waters of life” (Wis 7, 17).
Let us not forget, however, that Jesus wanted the priest to be the “Good Shepherd” in the Church. It is not only, but above all in the parish that the priest continues the mission and the pastoral task of Jesus. Therefore, he must “feed the flock” teaching, giving grace, defending the “sheep” from error and evil, consoling and, above all, loving.
Even if the way of being a priest changes according to the places and times, all priests are called to imitate Christ the Good Shepherd who, unlike the mercenary, does not seek any other interest and does not pursue any other advantage than that of guiding, nurturing, and protecting his sheep.”That they may have life and have it abundantly” (Jn 10.10).
3) All are shepherds.
By virtue of baptism, every Christian is called to be a “good shepherd” in the environment in which he lives:
– the parents must be “Good Shepherds” to their children, making them grow with their love;
– the children must obey the love of their parents and learn the simple and coherent faith and to give the life they have received as a gift;
– the spouses must set the relationship of the couple on the example of the Good Shepherd, so that family life may always be at the height of the feelings and ideals desired by the Creator. This is the reason for which the family has been called “domestic church”;
– the teachers in the schools and the workers in the factories or in the offices must always try to be “good shepherd” like Jesus.
– but, above all, the “good shepherds” in society must be the consecrates persons: the religious, the nuns, and those who belong to Secular Institutes.
Therefore, on this Sunday, we must pray for all religious, male and female vocations, so that in the Church the witness of religious life may be ever more numerous, lively, intense and efficacious. The world today has more than ever the need of convinced and totally consecrated witnesses.
I am thinking in particular of the consecrated Virgins who exercise a particular “pastoral ministry” in the Church.
Even if theirs is not an ordained ministry, these consecrated women, living virginally, are not limited merely to witnessing the angelic condition of children of the Kingdom. In addition to chastity, which they are called to observe in perfect continence, the Consecrated Virgins practice commitment to poverty of heart and life for a serious sharing of the human suffering as well as obedience to be given to God. Obedience that is presented in the exhortations and in the precepts of the Church, in councils and pastoral directives, and in meeting the needs of people. The Ritual of the Consecration of the Virgins suggests to them to carry out their service (= ministry) with sobriety of life, help to the poor and works of penance: “The virgins in the Church are those women who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, make a vow of chastity to the end in order to love Christ more ardently and to serve the brothers more freely … their task is to do works of penance and mercy, apostolic activity and prayer “(Ritual of the Consecration of the Virgins, 2). Therefore, even if they give primacy to prayer and contemplation, the consecrated virgins serve the pastoral ministry of the Church by making the donation of themselves to the service (ministry) of the Church, a holy sheepfold for redemptive sheep, and dedicating themselves to love for all men and women in the ordinary circumstances of life so that all may be one in Christ, Good Shepherd.
Saint Augustin of Hippo (354 – 430)
On the words of the gospel, Jn 10,14 “I am the good shepherd,” etc. Against the donatists.
1). We have heard the Lord Jesus setting forth to us the office of a good shepherd. And herein He hath doubtless given us to know, as we may understand it, that there are good shepherds. And yet that the multitude of shepherds might not be understood in a wrong sense; He saith, “I am the good Shepherd.”1 And wherein He is the good Shepherd, He showeth in the words following; “The good Shepherd,” saith He, “layeth down His life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, seeth the wolf coming, and fleeth; because he careth not for the sheep, for he is an hireling.2 Christ then is the good Shepherd. What was Peter? was he not a good shepherd? Did not he too lay down his life for the sheep? What was Paul? what the rest of the Apostles? what the blessed Bishops, Martyrs, who followed close upon their times? What again our holy Cyprian? Were they not all good shepherds, not hirelings, of whom it is said, “Verily I say unto you, they have received their reward”?3 All these then were good shepherds, not simply for that they shed their blood, but that they shed it for the sheep.For not in pride, but in charity they shed it.
2. For even among the heretics, they who for their iniquities and errors have suffered any trouble, vaunt themselves in the name of martyrdom, that with this fair covering disguised4 they may plunder the more easily, for wolves they are. Now if ye would know in what rank they are to be held, hear that good shepherd, the Apostle Paul, that not all who even give up their bodies in suffering to the flames, are to be accounted to have shed their blood for the sheep, but rather against the sheep. “If,” saith he, “I speak with the tongues of men, and angels, but have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. If I should know all mysteries, and have all prophecy, and all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not charity, I am nothing.”5 Now a great thing truly is this faith that removes mountains. They are indeed all great things; but if I have them without charity, saith he, not they, but I am nothing. But up to this point he haft not touched them, who glory in sufferings under the false name of martyrdom. Hear how he toucheth, yea rather pierceth them through anti through. “If I should distribute,” saith he, “all my goods to the poor, and deliver my body to be burned.” Now here they are. But mark what follows; “but have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” Lo, they have come to suffering, come even to the shedding of blood, yea come to the burning of the body; and yet it profiteth them nothing, because charity is lacking. Add charity, they all profit; take charity away, all the rest profit nothing.
3. What a good is this charity, Brethren! What more precious? what yieldeth greater light? or strength? or profit? or security? Many are the gifts of God, which even the wicked have, who shall say, “Lord, we have prophesied in Thy Name, in Thy Name have cast out devils, in Thy Name done many mighty works.”6 And He will not answer, “Ye have not done them.” For in the Presence of so great a Judge, they will not dare to lie or boast of things they have not done. But for that they had not charity, He answereth them all, “I know you not.” Now how can he have so much as the smallest charity, who when even7 convicted, loves not unity? It was then as impressing on good shepherds this unity, that our Lord was unwilling to mention many shepherds. For it is not, as I have said already, that Peter was not a good shepherd, and Paul, the rest of the Apostles, and the holy Bishops who were after them, and blessed Cyprian. All these were good shepherds; and notwithstanding to good shepherds, He commended not good shepherds, but a good Shepherd. “I,” saith He,” am the good Shepherd.”
4. Let us question the Lord with such little understanding as we have, and in most humble discourse hold converse with so great a Master. What sayest Thou, O Lord, Thou good Shepherd? For Thou art the good Shepherd, who art also the good Lamb; at once Pastor and Pasturage, at once Lamb and Lion. What sayest Thou? Let us give ear and aid us, that we may understand. “I,” saith He, “am the good Shepherd.” What is Peter? is he either not a shepherd, or a bad one? Let us see, if he be not a shepherd. “Lovest thou Me?”8 Thou saidst to Him Lord, “Lovest thou Me?” And he answered, “I do love Thee.” And Thou to him, “Feed My sheep.” Thou, Thou, Lord, by Thine Own questioning, by the strong assurance of Thine Own words, madest of the lover a shepherd. He is a shepherd then to whom Thou didst commit Thy sheep to be fed. Thou didst Thyself entrust them, he is a shepherd. Let us now see whether he be not a good one. This we find by the very question, and his answer. Thou didst ask, whether he loved Thee; he answered, “I do love Thee?” Thou sawest his heart, that he answered truth. Is he not then good, who Ioveth so great a Good? Whence that answer drawn front his inmost heart? Wherefore was this Peter, who had Thine eyes in his heart for witnesses, sad because Thou askedst him not once only, but a second and a third time, that by a threefold confession of love, he might efface the threefold sin of denial; wherefore, I say, being sad that he was asked repeatedly by. Him who knew what He was asking, and had given what He heard; wherefore being sad, did he return such an answer, “Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thyself knowest that I love Thee”? What! in making such a confession, such a profession rather, would he lie? In truth then, he made answer of his love to Thee, and from his inmost heart he gave utterance to a lover’s words. Now Thou hast said, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things”9 So then he is both a shepherd, and a good shepherd; nothing it is true to the power and goodness of the Shepherd of shepherds; but nevertheless even he is both a shepherd, and a good one; and all other such are good shepherds.
5. What means it then, that to good shepherds Thou dost set forth One Only Shepherd, but that in One Shepherd Thou teachest unity? and the Lord Himself explains this more clearly by my ministry, putting you, beloved, in remembrance by this Gospel, and saying, “Hear ye what I have set forth; I have said, ‘I am the good Shepherd ;’ because all the rest, all the good shepherds, are My members.” One Head, One Body, One Christ. So then both the Shepherd of shepherds, and the shepherds of the Shepherd, and the sheep with their shepherds under The Shepherd. What is all this, but what the Apostle says? “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.”10 Therefore if Christ be even so, with good reason doth Christ in Himself containing all good shepherds, set forth One, saying, “‘ I am the good Shepherd.’ ‘I am,’ I Alone am, all the rest with Me are one in unity. Whoso feedeth without Me, feedeth against Me. ‘He that gathereth not with Me, scattereth.’”11 Hear then this unity more forcibly set forth; “Other sheep,” saith He, “I have which are not of this fold.”12 For He was speaking to the first fold of the stock of the fleshly Israel. But there were others of the stock of the faith of this Israel, and they were yet without, were among the Gentiles, predestinated, not yet gathered in. These He knew who had predestinated them; He knew, who had come to redeem them with the shedding of His Own Blood. He saw them who did not yet see Him; He knew them who yet believed not on Him. “Other sheep,” saith He, “I have which are not of this fold;” because they are not of the stock of the flesh of Israel. But nevertheless they shall not be outside of this fold, “for them also I must bring, that there may be One Fold, and One Shepherd.”
6. With good reason then to This Shepherd of shepherds, doth His Beloved, His Spouse, His Fair One, but by Him made fair, before by sin deformed, beautiful afterward through pardon and grace, speak in her love and ardour after Him, and say to Him, “Where feedest Thou?”13 And observe how, by what transport this spiritual love is here animated. And far better are they by this transport delighted, who have tasted ought of the sweetness of this love. They hear this properly, who love Christ. For in them, and of them, doth the Church sing this in the Song of Songs; who love Christ, as it seemed without beauty, yet the Only Beautiful One. “For we saw Him,” it is said, “and He had neither beauty nor comeliness.”14 Such He appeared on the Cross, such when crowned with thorns did He exhibit Himself, disfigured, and without comeliness, as if He had lost His power, as if not the Son of God. Such seemed He to the blind. For it is in the person of the Jews that Isaiah said this, “We saw Him, and He had no beauty nor comeliness.” When it was said, “If He be the Son of God, let Him come down from the Cross. He saved others, Himself He cannot save.”15 And smiting Him on the head with a reed, they said, “Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, who smote Thee?”16 Because “He had neither beauty nor comeliness.” As such did ye Jews see Him. For” blindness hath happened in part to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles enter in,”17 until the other sheep come. Because then blindness hath happened, therefore did ye see the Comely One without comeliness. “For had ye known Him, ye would never have crucified the Lord of Glory.”18 But ye did it, because ye knew Him not. And yet He who as though without beauty bare with you, all Beauteous as He was, prayed for you; “Father,” saith He, “forgive them, for they know not what they do.”19 For if He were without comeliness, how is it that she loveth Him, who saith, “Tell me, O Thou whom my soul loveth”?20 How is it that she loveth Him? how is it that she burneth for Him? how is it that she feareth so much to stray from Him? How is it that she hath so great delight in Him, that her only punishment is to be without Him? What would there be for which He should be loved, if He were not beautiful? But how could she love Him so, if He appeared to her as He did to those blind men persecuting Him, and knowing not what they do? As what then did she love Him? As “comely in form above the sons of men. Comely in form above the sons of men, grace is poured abroad in Thy Lips.”21 So then from these Thy Lips, “Tell me, 0 Thou whom my soul Ioveth. Tell me,” says she, “O Thou whom,” not my flesh, but, “my soul loveth. Tell me where Thou feedest, where Thou liest down in the midday; lest haply I light, as one veiled, upon the flocks of Thy companions.”22
7. It seems obscure, obscure it is; for it is a mystery of the sacred marriage bed. For she says, “The King hath brought me into His chamber.”23 Of such a chamber is this a mystery. But ye who are not as profane kept off from this chamber, hear ye what ye are, and say with her, if with her ye love (and ye do love with her, if ye are in her); say all, and yet let one say, for unity saith; “Tell me, O Thou whom my soul Ioveth. For they had one soul to Godward, and one heart.24 Tell me where Thou feedest, where Thou liest down in the midday?” What does the midday25 signify? “Great heat, and great brightness.” So then, “make known to me who are Thy wise ones,” fervent in spirit, and brilliant in doctrine. “Make known to me Thy Right Hand, and men learned in heart, in wisdom.”26 To them may I cleave in Thy Body, to them be united, with them enjoy Thee. Tell me then, “tell me, where Thou feedest, where Thou liest down in the midday;” lest I fall upon them who say other things of Thee, entertain other sentiments of Thee; believe other things of Thee, preach other things of Thee; and have their own flocks, and are Thy companions; for that they live of Thy table, and handle the sacraments of Thy table. For companions are so called, because they eat together,27 messmates as it were. Such are reproved in the Psalm; “For if Mine enemy had spoken great things against Me, I would surely have hidden Myself from him; and if he that hated Me had spoken great things against Me, I would surely have hidden Myself from him; but thou a man of one mind with Me, My guide, and My familiar, who didst take sweetmeats together with Me, in the house of God we walked with consent.”28 Why then now against the house of the Lord with dissent, but that “they have gone out from us, but they were not of us?29 Therefore, “O Thou whom my soul loveth,” that I may not fall upon such, Thy companions, but companions such as Samson’s were, who kept not faith with their friend, but wished to corrupt his wife.30 Therefore, that I may not fall upon such as these, “that I may not light upon them,” that is, fall upon them, “as one that is veiled,” as one that is concealed, that is, and obscure, not as established upon the mountain. “Tell me” then, “O thou whom my soul loveth, where Thou feedest, where Thou liest down in the midday;” who are the wise and faithful in whom Thou dost specially rest, lest by chance as in blindness I fall upon the flocks, not Thy flocks, but the flocks of Thy companions. For thou didst not say to Peter, “Feed thy sheep,” but, “Feed My sheep.”31
8. Let then the “good Shepherd,” and, “the Comely in form above the sons of men,” make answer to this beloved one; make answer to her whom He hath made beautiful from among the children of men. Hear ye what He answereth, and understand, beware of that wherewith He alarmeth, love that which He adviseth. What then doth He answer? How free from soft caresses, yea, to her caresses He returneth severity! He is sharp that He may bind her closely, that He may keep her. “If thou know not thyself,” saith He, “0 thou fair one among women:”32 for however fair others may be by the gifts of thy Spouse, they are heresies, fair in outward ornament, not within:33 fair are they without, and outwardly they shine, they disguise themselves by the name of righteousness; “but all the beauty of the King’s daughter is within.”34 “If” then “thou know not thyself;” that thou art one, that thou art throughout all nations, that thou art chaste, that thou oughtest not to corrupt thyself with the disordered converse of evil companions. “If thou know not thyself,” that in uprightness, “he hath espoused thee to Me, to present you a chaste Virgin to Christ;”35 and that in uprightness thou shouldest present thine own self to Me, test by evil converse, “as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds too should be corrupted from my purity.”36 “If,” I say, “thou know not thyself” to be such, “go thy way; go thy way.” For to others I shall say, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”37 To time I shall not say, “Enter in;” but, “Go thy way;” that thou mayest be among those, who “went out from us.” “Go thy way.” That is, “if thou know not thyself,” then, “go thy way.” But if thou know thyself, enter in. But, “if thou know not thyself, go thy way by the footsteps of the flocks, and feed thy kids in the tents of the shepherds. Go thy way by the footsteps,” not “of the Flock,” but, “of the flocks, and feed,” not as Peter, “My sheep,” but, “thy kids; in the tents,” not “of the Shepherd,” but, “of the shepherds;” not of unity, but of dissension; not established there, where there is One flock and One Shepherd. The beloved one was confirmed, edified, made stronger, prepared to die for her Spouse and to live with her Spouse.
9. These words which I have quoted out of the Holy Song of Songs, of a kind of bridal song of the Bridegroom and the Bride (for it spiritual wedding, wherein we must live in great purity, for Christ hath granted to the Church in spirit that which His Mother had in body, to be at once a Mother and a Virgin); these words, I say, the Donatists accommodate to their own perverted sense in a very different meaning. And how I will not conceal from you, and what ye may answer them, I will, by the Lord’s help, as well as I shall be able, briefly recommend. When then we begin to press them with the light of the Church’s unity spread over the whole world, and demand of them to show us any testimony out of the Scriptures, where God hath foretold that the Church should be in Africa, as if all the rest of the nations were lost; they are in the habit of taking this testimony in their mouths, and saying; “Africa is under the midday sun; the Church then” they say, “asking the Lord where He feedeth, where He lieth down; He answereth, ‘Under the midday sun;’” as if the voice of her who put the question, were, “Tell me, O Thou whom my soul loveth, where Thou feedest, where Thou liest down;” and the Voice of Him who answereth, were, “Under the midday sun;” that is, in Africa. If then it be the Church which asketh, and the Lord maketh answer where he feedeth, in Africa, because the Church was in Africa; then she who asketh was not in Africa. “Tell me,” she saith, “O Thou whom my soul loveth, where Thou feedest, where Thou liest down;” and He maketh answer to some Church out of Africa, “Under the midday sun,” in Africa I lie down, in Africa I feed, as if it were, “I do not feed in thee.” I repeat, if she who asketh is the Church, which no one disputes, which not even themselves gainsay; and they hear something about Africa; then she who asketh is out of Africa; and because it is the Church, the Church is out of Africa.
10. But see, I admit that Africa is under the midday sun; although Egypt is rather under the meridian, under the midday sun than Africa. Now after what fashion This Shepherd is there in Egypt, they who know, will acknowledge; and for them that know not, let them enquire how large a flock lie gathereth there, how great a multitude He hath of holy men and women who utterly despise the world. That flock hath so increased, that it hath expelled superstitions even thence. To pass over how it hath in its increase banished thence the whole superstition of idols, which had been firmly fixed there; I admit what you say, O evil companions; I admit it altogether, I agree that Africa is in the South, and that Africa is signified in that which is said, “Where feedest Thou, where dost Thou lie down under the midday sun?” But do ye too equally observe how that up to this point these are the words of the Bride, and not yet of the Bridegroom. Hitherto it is the Bride that saith, “Tell me, O Thou whom my soul loveth, where Thou feedest, where Thou dost lie down in the midday, lest by chance I light, as one veiled.” O thou deaf, and blind one, if in the “midday” thou seest Africa, why in her that is “veiled” l dost thou not see the Bride? “Tell me,” she said, “O Thou whom my soul loveth.” Without doubt she addresses her Spouse, when she says, “whom” [in the masculine38 ]“my soul loveth.” Just as if it were said, “Tell me, O thou whom [in the feminine39 ], “my soul loveth;”we should understand that the Bridegroom spake these words to His Bride; so when you hear, “Tell me, O thou whom” (in the masculine) “my soul loveth, where Thou feedest, where Thou liest down;” add to this, to her words belongs also what follows, “In the midday.” I am asking, “where Thou feedest in the midday, lest by chance I light as one veiled upon the flocks of Thy companions.” I consent entirely, I admit what you understand of Africa; it is signified by “the midday” But then as you understand it, the Church of Christ beyond the sea is addressing her Spouse, in fear of falling into the African error, “O Thou whom my soul, loveth, tell me,” teach me. For I hear that in the midday,” that is in Africa, there are two parties, yea rather many schisms.40 “Tell me,” then, “where Thou feedest,” what sheep belong to Thee, what fold Thou biddest me love there, whereunto ought I to unite myself. “Lest by chance I light as one veiled.” For they mock me as if I were concealed, they mock me as destroyed, as though I existed nowhere else. “Lest,” then, “as one veiled,” as if concealed, “I light upon the flocks,” that is, upon the congregarious of the heretics, “thy companions; the Donatists, the Maximinianists, the Rogatists and all the other pests who gather without, and who therefore scatter; “Tell me,” I pray Theei f I must seek my Shepherd there, that I fail not into the gulf of re-baptizing. I exhort you, I beseech you by the sanctity of such nuptials love this Church, be ye in this holy Church, be ye this Church; love the good Shepherd, the spouse so fair, who deceiveth no one, who desireth no one to perish. Pray too for the scattered sheep; that they too may come, that they too may acknowledge Him, that they too may love Him; that there may be One Flock and One Shepherd. Let us turn to the Lord, etc
1 (Jn 10,11
2 (Jn 10,12-13.
3 (Mt 6,2 Mt 6,4.
5 (1Co 13,1 etc.
6 (Mt 7,22
7 Referring it would seem to the conference held but a little while before this with the Donatist party at Carthage.
8 (Jn 21,15).
9 (Mt 12,35
10 (1Co 12,12
11 (Mt 12,30
12 (Jn 10,16
13 (Ct 1,7 Ct 1
14 (Is 53,2 Sept.
15 (Mc 15,31
16 (Mt 26,68
17 (Rm 11,25
18 (1Co 2,8
19 (Lc 23,34).
20 (Ct 1,7 Ct 1
21 (Ps 14,2.
22 (Ct 1,7 Sept.
23 (Ct 1,4
24 (Ac 4,32
25 It is not possible in English to preserve the same translation for the word meridies, which occurs throughout this passage in the two senses of the noon or midday, and the South).
26 (Ps 89,12 Sept. (xc. English version).
27 Sodales enim dicti sunt, quod simul edant, quasi simul edales.
28 (Ps 54,13 etc., Sept. (lv. 12-14, English version).
29 (1Jn 2,19
30 (Jg 14.
31 (Jn 21,17
32 (Ct 8 Sept.
34 (Ps 45,13
35 (2Co 11,2
36 (2Co 11,3).
37 (Mt 25,21
 Jesus says: I am the good shepherd. The adjective that in English is translated with good has a much deeper meaning. It is the Greek word kalòs, which literally means beautiful in the sense of a thing of good quality that fully responds to its purpose. The shepherd of whom Jesus is talking about, fully responds to his purpose because he gives his life for the sheep. The term specifically indicates risking one’s life exposing oneself to the danger that threatens other people. The good shepherd is an attentive shepherd, who is especially interested in the life and safety of his flock.
Roman Rite – Fourth Easter Sunday – Year B – April 22, 2018