Fourth Sunday of Easter

Fourth Sunday of Easter

I am the Good Shepherd.

The fourth Sunday of Easter is Vocations Sunday as Jesus presents himself to us as the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. Priests, deacons and religious are invited to see their vocation in the light of that image, to offer their lives in the service of God’s flock.

The vocation to holiness we have all received invites each of us, in whatever way we follow the Lord to know the voice of the shepherd who calls us. Prayer is the most effective way we have to get to know the voice of the shepherd and follow him more closely.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

 

Sunday.

It was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the one you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name and no other that this man is able to stand up perfectly healthy.(Acts 4:10)

  • At the name of Jesus the crippled man was healed. What needs healed in your life?
  • God raised Jesus from the dead. What needs to be reborn in you?
  • How do you honour the holy name of Jesus?
  • Listen to the Lord in whom you are saved.

 

Monday.

The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes. (Psalm 117:22-23)

  • Have you ever felt rejected?
  • What is the cornerstone of your life?
  • What are the marvels the Lord has worked in your life?
  • Listen to the Lord as he tells you why he has chosen you.

 

Tuesday.

 Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in men. (Psalm 117:1,8)

  • List the things you need to give thanks for.
  • When have you ‘taken refuge in the Lord’?
  • Has your trust in people ever been misplaced?
  • Listen to the Lord who tells you that his love for you has no end.

 

Wednesday.

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children, and that is what we are. (1 John 3:1)

  • From whom have you experienced lavish love in your life?
  • To whom have you given lavish love?
  • Spend some time reflecting on the truth that you are a child of God.
  • Picture God as the Father who gives you lavish love.

 

Thursday.

Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd is the one who lays down his life for his sheep. (John 10:11)

  • What do you like about the image of the good shepherd?
  • How does it feel to know the good shepherd has laid down his life for you?
  • When have you experienced the shepherding of God?
  • Spend some time listening to the voice of the shepherd.

 

Friday

Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for my sheep. (John 10:14-15)

  • How do you know Jesus?
  • How does it feel to be known by Jesus?
  • How does Jesus bring you into a relationship with his Father?
  • Spend some time listening to the shepherd who knows you through and through.

 

Saturday

There are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock and one shepherd. (John 10:16)

  • Who do you think Jesus is referring to in the other fold?
  • How do you listen to the voice of the shepherd?
  • What is your desire for unity?
  • Spend some time listening to the voice of the shepherd.
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