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Fourth Sunday of Easter – Cycle A

Fourth Sunday of Easter – Cycle A 

May 7, 2017

Printable PDF file here

 

OPENING PRAYER

Acts 2:14a, 36-41              (Ps 23:13a, 3b-6)       Peter 2:20-25                             John 10::1–10

Overview of the Gospel:
• This Sunday’s gospel takes place right after Jesus’ healing of the blind man which we heard
about on the Fourth Sunday of Lent (John 9:1-41). He is addressing this present discourse to
the Pharisees who reacted with hostility to both Jesus and the blind man as a result of that
healing.
• The theme of God as the shepherd of Israel runs all through the Old Testament (Psalm 23:1-4,
80:1; Genesis 48:15, 49:24; Micah 7:14). Among the leaders of Israel there were good
shepherds, like David (1 Samuel 17:34-36) as well as bad (Jeremiah 23:1-6).
• The Old Testament also promised that God would one day replace these corrupt leaders and
shepherd his people himself (Ezekiel 34:11-16; Isaiah 40:11). Jesus often described himself
in pastoral terms as a shepherd who sought out the lost sheep and carried them home to
rejoicing (Matthew 18:12-14; Luke 15:4-7; John 10). He also used the image of a shepherd in
many of his other teachings (Matthew 7:15, 9:36, 25:32-33; Mark 14:27; John 21:16-17), as
did the early Church (Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25).

Questions:
• In the 1st Reading, Jesus is not called a “shepherd”, but he is given another title (see verses 36
and 39). What promise is given to those who repent of their sins and call upon his name?
• In the 2nd examples, what kind of example did Jesus set for us? What did he do for us that
enables us to return to him as our Good Shepherd (see verse 24)?
• In the Gospel Reading, what do the sheep, shepherd, the sheepfold, and the stranger
represent? How does the story of healing of the blind man in chapter 9 provide one example of
what this story is about?
• How do the sheep respond to the shepherd? How does this relate to the Pharisees’
understanding of Jesus?
• What does Jesus mean by likening himself to a gate for the sheepfold? Who are these
“thieves and robbers”? How is Jesus unlike them?
• How does Jesus’ death relate to his promise in verse 10? How does Jesus identify himself
with the “good shepherd” (verses 11-15)?
• What was the turning point for you in terms of hearing “God’s voice” and responding? How do
you discern his voice from all the other voices that vie for your attention?
• How does it make you feel to think of God caring for you as the Good Shepherd?
Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 753-754, 764, 2157-2158
Closing Prayer
Remember to read and meditate on the daily Mass readings found in the bulletin!
I, with [Jesus] Who is always by my side and in my heart, should I be afraid? –St. Rose of Lima

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