May 2, 2009


4th Sunday of Easter – B
John 10:11-18
The Father knows me and I know the Father

Qualities of the good shepherd:
- He lays down his life for the sheep, unlike the hired man who runs away in face of danger and abandons the sheep.
- He does not work for pay
- He has concern for the sheep
- He knows the sheep and the sheep know him.
- He gathers the sheep to his fold so that there will be one flock, and one shepherd.
- He leads.
- The sheep hear his voice.
But the main quality is his willingness to lay down his life for the sheep, a point Jesus repeats three times in this short passage.

All these are the qualities of the Good Shepherd. And in the Greek text, the word used for good here is kalos, which means “noble” or “ideal,” not simply “good at” something[1]

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, possesses these qualities thanks to his intimate relationship with the Father. “Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”

In Christ, we experience God’s love for us and for all humanity.

In Christ, we discover the secret to live our vocations as He does, namely to know the Father who is the loving Father of all.

On this Good Shepherd Sunday, please pray for vocations and that all Christians learn to lead others to God through sacrificial love.

[1] Perkins, Pheme. “The Gospel according to John.” The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Ed. Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Roland Murphy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990; p. 968.

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