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BuenPastorMurillo1660-2
El Buen Pastor (The Good Shepherd), Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Ca. 1660. Oil on canvas. Room 017 In a landscape with classical ruins that allude to the defeat of paganism, the Christ Child tends a lamb. Murillo based this image on a print by Stefano della Bella (1610-1664), while making use of his outstanding ability to depict children to create one of the most effective depictions of the parable of the Good Shepherd.

 

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Good Shepherd Sunday celebrates the fulfillment of “the promise made to us” that God will send a Shepherd who will give us life “more abundantly.” 

Magnificat, http://www.magnificat.com

 

Lectio Divina

In Catholicism, Lectio Divina (from the Latin for Holy Reading) is a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation, and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's word.  For the practitioner, it follows a common rhythm of quiet reading (often aloud to oneself), of thoughtful meditation and contemplation on what one has read, and then, if so moved, of a prayerful dialogue with God in response to what one has encountered in scripture.  This reflective, meditative active listening, if you will, allows the Holy Spirit to deepen one's awareness of God's presence and invites His initiative to speak with us.

 

LISTEN:  My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me. (Jn 10:27)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 10:1-10

Jesus said: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gate- keeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” Although Jesus used this figure of speech, the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

 

CONSIDER:  We are under Christ’s protection as he is our Shepherd whose voice we must attend to. For Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel and to all of us; He is our God and we are his people, the flock he shepherds (Ps 95:7).

 

PRAY: On this Good Shepherd Sunday let us pray for all we have and all we need in and through, Jesus, our Good Shepherd:

O, Jesus our Shepherd, help us soon to return to you in the Mass, where your sheep fully and evermore presently encounter you; fed by your Word and the Eucharist;

Help us to prosper during this time we are sacramentally separated from you; while we are away let it be a time our hearts expand in our yearning for you; let our hunger for you grow;

For some, strengthen us; for others, renew us in our faith; and, for still others, enkindle - by the flame of your love - the Holy Spirit in us whose hearts are faint for you; and for all let us grow and mature in our faith and understanding of your will for our lives;

Lord, be with your Church; most especially with your holy Priesthood; who, by their own hands acting in persona Christi, administer the healing and saving sacraments you intend for your flock; help us soon return to you in and through those Sacraments missing in our daily lives today;

And help us to recognize that in you, Jesus, your sheep have all we need.

Amen.

 

For additional reflection on today’s Gospel reading, consider The Sheep Hear the Shepherd’s Voice, Gospel of 3rd May 2020; The sheep hear his voice – ChristianArt.Today .

 

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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