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Lost sheep are being carried on the Shepherd’s shoulders PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 26 April 2015 – Fourth Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday)

The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep

The gospel reading of today's liturgy, ‘I AM the good shepherd’, heard against this background, takes us deep into the mystery of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ – and, as we shall see, it tells us of how God's initiative in the Paschal Mystery was conceived in the depths of the Trinitarian Life itself.

The Good Shepherd theme has had a great impact on Christian consciousness. One of the earliest and most repeated motifs of Christian art is the youthful shepherd carrying the lost sheep home on his shoulders.  The image it suggests is so telling that it has featured prominently in the Church's preaching in every age.  As so often happens with the best things in life, we tend to take this theme for granted. Today's text helps us to find a fresh appreciation of its implications.  In it Jesus explains these implications by reference to the Paschal Mystery.

He says that he is the ‘good’ shepherd – in contrast to the unfaithful shepherds who have failed God's people, thinking only of their own interests - because, as he three times repeats, he ‘lays down his life’ for them. He lays it down, he explains, ‘in order to take it up again’.  In his Resurrection, he will be a source of life for them.  And in this drama of his death and resurrection, he is carrying out and making clear to the human family what his Father wills for them – an enterprise so dear to the Father that he looks upon the Son's obedience with a renewed love.

John Thornhill sm - The Emmaus Series

Change in Mass Time

The midday Anointing Mass at St James’ Church on 12 May has been rescheduled to 26 May 2015.