Reflection for the 4th Sunday of Easter, by Andre Burkhart, OSF

The Shepherd’s Love, Source: WikiCommons, Public Domain

Reflection for April 21, 2013
Fourth Sunday of Easter

First Reading: Acts 13:14, 43-52
Second Reading: Rev 7:9, 14b, 17
Gospel: John 10:27-30

Today’s scriptures are filled with so many different scenes.  In the first reading we see Paul and Barnabas giving witness to the teachings of Jesus.  The reading ends with the expulsion of Paul and Barnabas from the territory.  Then, Revelation tells us that the Lamb will shepherd the people.  The Gospel is a beautiful picture of a shepherd and his sheep.  This brings to my mind the times I saw a Kenyan native shepherd simply standing or sitting near his herd of sheep, just watching.  He carried no supplies with him because his total task was to tend the sheep.  On the reservation I witnessed the same thing as I would drive down rough and dusty roads to my destination.  Many times an Indian woman, man, or child could be seen with a herd of sheep and they would follow her or him wherever she walked.  They knew their leader.  They listened to his or her voice.  I often thought what a wonderful reminder it was of our God and us.  A God who loves us and leads us where we sometimes do not want to go yet waits on us with divine patience.
God, our Loving Shepherd, teach us to constantly listen to You as You call us daily, lead us without fear, and invite us to be faithful to You and Your promise of eternal reward.  Do not let us stray from Your sight and do not lose sight of us when we stray.  Open our ears to hear Your call with an open heart and a willing spirit because You want only good for us.  Teach us to constantly answer Your call and continue on the way to our eternal reward with joy and anticipation of what is to come.  Amen.

Andre’ Burkhart, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg

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