Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year C.

Prayer before praying Scripture

Each year on the fourth Sunday after Easter we are invited to reflect on the parts of John 10. This chapter is justifiably given the title “Good Shepherd” as is the Sunday. However there are other images and relationships put before us in this chapter.  Be alert to discovering something new.

It is time now to read the text.

  1. John 10: 27 – 30. It is best to read it from your bible.

Now I suggest that you read the entire chapter so that you will be able to understand today’s reading within its context. I list a few key points that you can watch for as you read.

John Chapter 10

1 – 6
The sheepfold
Jesus the “gate”
Jesus the “shepherd”

6b                   “They did not realise what he was trying to tell them.”

This challenges us to ask, “Do I realise what Jesus is trying to tell me here and now.”

7                      “I am the gate.”
9                      “I am the gate.”
11 – 18            “I am the Good Shepherd”

19                    Divisions ?

24                    In reply to the question, “Are you the Messiah?” Jesus responds, “Do my works”- This is how we will experience Jesus as Messiah.

John 10: 27 – 30         Today’s text

31                    “For which of my works do you want to stone me?” ?

Division ? in the community

42                    Many began to believe.

Reflect back on this chapter and the movement that you see in the characters. Recall the movement you see going on in your relationship with Christ and the people around you.

  1. It is time now to look closer into our text.
  1. It is now important for us to become aware of the characters here.

27Jesus said, “The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they know me. 28I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me.

29The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone, and no one can steal from the Father.  30The Father and I are one.”

  1. Divide the text into parts and give each a title that expresses how it is touching your today. When you have done this see how it compares with what I have done.

My relationship with Jesus

27Jesus said, “The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they know me. 28I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me.

The Father and humanity

29The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone, and no one can steal from the Father. 30The Father and I are one.”

  1. Having become aware that John is telling us about our relationship with God and humanity let us highlight what in this text tells is important for us.

27Jesus said, “The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they know me. 28I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me.

29 The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone, and no one can steal from the Father.

30The Father and I are one.”

Take
TIME NOW TO REFLECT ON THE WORD and TO RESPOND TO IT (PRAY)  each of the qualities of God, how he relates to us/humanity, what he does for us. We have identified these by using colour.

The Father is greater than anyone.
In the Apostles Creed we say: “I believe in God the Father Almighty.” Do not be afraid of this quality of our God. Often we are tempted to sell God short and limit His greatness

6. Movement
“The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice.”
This is our early encounter with the Jesus. We open ourselves to his Word. As we continue to experience the Word of God transforming our lives this contact becomes an encounter with the Word; the Word, Jesus and the Word of God. We enter into and ever deepening and close relationship with him. As this relationship grows it is extended to the Father and we are able to call out just as Jesus did, “Abba, Father.”

7. Our relationship with Jesus and the Father is expressed in the pairing of phrases in the text.

27Jesus said,
“The sheep that belong to me           listen to my voice;
I know them and                                 they know me.
28I give them eternal life;                   they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me.
29The Father gave them to me           no one can steal them.

THE FULLNESS OF OUR RELATIONSHIP.

30The Father            ONE with                   I  (Jesus)
Jesus                           ONE with                   Us
We                               ONE with                   Father
Prayer
Spend time with the Lord allowing yourself to come to some understanding of the privileged relationship we have with our God.

This entry was posted in SUNDAY GOSPEL COMMENTARY. Bookmark the permalink.