sunday 03 May 2020
FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Entrance Antiphon Cf. Ps 32: 5-6
The merciful love of the Lord fills the earth; by the word of the Lord the heavens were made, alleluia.
Almighty ever-living God, lead us to a share in the joys of heaven, so that the humble flock may reach where the brave Shepherd has gone before. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Acts 2:14,36-41
On the day of Pentecost Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed the crowd in a loud voice: ‘The whole House of Israel can be certain that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.’ Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the apostles, ‘What must we do, brothers?’ ‘You must repent,’ Peter answered ‘and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise that was made is for you and your children, and for all those who are far away, for all those whom the Lord our God will call to himself.’ He spoke to them for a long time using many arguments, and he urged them, ‘Save yourselves from this perverse generation.’ They were convinced by his arguments, and they accepted what he said and were baptised. That very day about three thousand were added to their number.
R/ The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.
- The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit.
- He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name. If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear. You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort.
- You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
- Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.
Second reading: 1 Peter 2:20-25
The merit, in the sight of God, is in bearing punishment patiently when you are punished after doing your duty. This, in fact, is what you were called to do, because Christ suffered for you and left an example for you to follow the way he took. He had not done anything wrong, and there had been no perjury in his mouth. He was insulted and did not retaliate with insults; when he was tortured he made no threats but he put his trust in the righteous judge. He was bearing our faults in his own body on the cross, so that we might die to our faults and live for holiness; through his wounds you have been healed. You had gone astray like sheep but now you have come back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
Gospel Acclamation : Jn 10:14
Alleluia, alleluia! I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my own sheep and my own know me. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 10:1-10
Jesus said: ‘I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They never follow a stranger but run away from him: they do not recognise the voice of strangers.’ Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them. So Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I tell you most solemnly, I am the gate of the sheepfold. All others who have come are thieves and brigands; but the sheep took no notice of them. I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant, we pray, O Lord, that we may always find delight in these paschal mysteries, so that the renewal constantly at work within us may be the cause of our unending joy. Through Christ our Lord.
The Good Shepherd has risen, who laid down his life for his sheep and willingly died for his flock, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Look upon your flock, kind Shepherd, and be pleased to settle in eternal pastures the sheep you have redeemed by the Precious Blood of your Son. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
The keywords we find in the psalm and gospel text of today are; flock, sheep, sheepfold, and shepherd. Jesus presents himself as the gate of the sheepfold because in Him, we find the model of the true shepherd. The image of the Good Shepherd amongst other images in the Bible shows God’s tenderness and compassion and equally expresses great authority. The task of the shepherd is to take care of the sheep and lead them not to oppress or maltreat them. The sheep on its part recognizes his voice and follows him. The voice of Jesus contains a message of liberation for them. Jesus is the model shepherd in three ways: first he is willing to lay down his life for his sheep: secondly, he knows his sheep and thirdly he is the gate of the sheepfold. We too are called to be shepherds to our fellow brothers and sisters. We are called to guide others on the right path not only by words but above all by our actions. How well do I listen for the voice of the Good shepherd? Where do I seek to hear him?