May 12, 2019 - 4th Sunday of Easter

THE ROAD HOME

Once again, this Sunday we encounter a multiple celebration. We continue, joyfully, to express our gratitude to Jesus who on Easter brought us to new life in His resurrection. This Fourth Sunday of Easter has been traditionally known as "Good Shepherd Sunday". We read and hear of Jesus as the Shepherd of His Church. We are His people, the sheep of His flock.

But, for us, this is also Mother's Day! We don't care to think of Mom as somehow taking a back seat. Yet, the idea of Mom sharing the celebration with the One Who redeems us, is not at all to be deemed a snub. In the greater percentage of our homes, we have readily honored Mom, and have been grateful to her, for carrying the banner of faith, often quietly, but wholeheartedly. Happy Mother's Day to all of our Mothers and Grandmothers.

Our Scriptures bear witness that not all was easy and thriving for the new "Church". People struggled with the idea of this Jesus from Nazareth as a prophet sent from God. In the second reading, from Revelations, John's vision sees the new Leader, Jesus, as a Lamb. People were gathering around and paying homage, to a gentle, vulnerable lamb. In that early context, and in our world of turmoil, a great many people are not going to be impressed. We might even ask ourselves about our following.

In the Gospel, however, Jesus speaks firmly and with conviction of His "sheep", of His leadership. His authority and power come from above. Most assuredly, it behooves us to adopt this tone in whatever manner we express our faith. A "disciple" is a follower, one who eagerly learns from the Master. The image of sheep melds readily into the concept of discipleship.

Jesus is ever our leader, master, shepherd, Redeemer. He is ever vitally in our lives. Hence, we always follow Him, no matter the tone of our world, no matter what at times may be going on inside of us. We are being led, and will often be led, through some dark times. Jesus calls us to follow him, carrying our cross. Without a doubt, He is leading us to His eternal life. Look closely. This is the road home.

 

Fr. Jim