Fourth Sunday of Easter
May 11-12, 2019
The Fourth Sunday of Easter always celebrates the Risen Jesus as the Good Shepherd. On this Sunday, frequently young children celebrate their First Communion. Perhaps children, with their innate wisdom, hear Jesus’ voice and want to respond by coming to him. Thus a long relationship begins to grow and blossom. Do you recall your First Communion? How has your relationship with Jesus evolved? Do you trust that voice who calls your name, loves and cherishes you as His Beloved? Have you learned to listen, really listen, to Jesus and trust this Shepherd who knows you intimately? Do believe you are known and loved and will you follow?
Today’s Gospel focuses on hearing the voice of Jesus. It can be difficult to know if we are really hear his voice, especially in times like these – so full of raised voices, lies, half-truths and hubris. A good guideline to follow for judging the authenticity of what we hear is to ask: Does the voice we hear lessen our hold on pride, arrogance, or greed? Do we let go, at least a little, of our façade of self-sufficiency or “I’m superior to you” attitude? Do our words express support, encouragement for others? Another way to judge which voice to follow is to look at the effect the voice has on others especially the vulnerable and weakest among us. Do we risk standing with those despised? Where and how do you hear Jesus’ voice?
A story from the Jewish tradition brings home the essence of today’s celebration:
A disciple went to the Rabbi and said: “Teacher, I have gone completely through the Torah.” “Ah, my friend”, said the Teacher, has the Torah gone completely through you?”
Let us ask for the grace of open hearts and minds to hear the Good Shepherd’s voice and to follow.
– Beth Taneyhill