Fourth Sunday of Easter
Today’s readings invite us to recognize our need for one who ensures our safety, nourishes us, and leads us to peace and security, like sheep who rest in the care of a good shepherd. Such a shepherd will protect and save the sheep, even from the most deadly of predators. Today, we ponder the incredible news that Jesus accepted death on the cross in order to open the gates of eternal life with God for us. Through his resurrection, Jesus protects and saves us from the power of sin and death. We need only accept his love and live as God’s people in this life, relying on the Lord who is the door to new life for us and for all.
When Peter faced the crowds on Pentecost, he was emboldened by the Holy Spirit and proclaimed the truth of Jesus Christ passionately to those who gathered to hear him. There was likely part of him that was not quite sure what to expect, knowing that a few weeks prior, crowds of people had chanted “Crucify him!” as Jesus was sentenced to a cruel and unjust death. The people who heard Peter were moved by his witness, compelled to acknowledge their sinfulness and to accept the news of salvation through Jesus Christ as good news, the gospel that changes everything.
Be honest with yourself. Have you ever gone astray? Have you ever given in to temptation or weakness? Do you sometimes feel that you need someone to help you get your life on back on track? Most people could answer yes to any of these questions. As people of faith, we know that Jesus understands the struggles we face and gave his life to save us from our human frailty. The Lord knows that we need help in order to live as God’s people in the world. There are people and powers that seek to mislead us, who offer a way that may for a time be appealing, even though it does not lead to the true way of life, love, and peace. We can be readily dissuaded and distracted from the ways of holiness. We easily lose our way, lured by the trappings of material possessions, wealth, or social status. Jesus is our only real way, the door that leads to meaning and peace in this earthly time, and to life everlasting.
Today’s Readings: Acts 2:14a, 36–41; Ps 23:1–3a, 3b–4, 5, 6; 1 Peter 2:20b–25; John 10:1–10
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