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Fourth Sunday of Easter – Cycle A

Fourth Sunday of Easter – Cycle A 

May 7, 2017

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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
• 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).

• 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

Third Sunday of Easter – Cycle A

April 30, 2017

Printable PDF copy here

Opening prayer

Acts 2:14,22-33         (Ps 16:1-2,5,7-11)        1 Peter 1:17-21        Luke 24:13-35

Overview of the Gospel:
• Today’s gospel takes place on Easter Sunday (as do all the resurrection appearances of
Jesus that are dated in the gospels), after the appearance of Jesus to the women at the tomb
(Mark 16:1-8; John 20:11-18).
• Two of Jesus’ disciples are making their way to a town called Emmaus. One of the disciples
who is named, Cleopas, is thought to be the brother of Jesus’ foster-father, St. Joseph (John
19:25). Both may have been members of “the 72” sent out on mission by Jesus in Luke 10:1.
• Jesus, who at first conceals his identity from them, finds them disconsolate at having their
hopes dashed at recent events. That they misunderstood Jesus’ person and mission is evident
by their referring to him as merely a “prophet” (verse 19).
• Jesus chides them for being “slow of heart” to understand him and proceeds to lead them
through salvation history, showing how his whole life was foreordained by the Old Testament.
It isn’t until Jesus reveals himself in the Eucharist, however, that they truly know him for who
he is.
• The 1st Reading is from the first sermon preached by the Church after Pentecost (fifty days
after the Resurrection of Jesus). What is the main message of the sermon, especially verses
22-33? What can we learn from the confidence with which the Apostles spoke the message?
• According to St. Peter in the 2nd Reading, what makes it possible to place our trust in God
(verse 21)?
• In the Gospel Reading, what are the disciples talking about as they walk (see verses 19-24)?
What tones of voice do you hear? What hopes are dashed? What plans might they be
making? How do they react to the “stranger”?
• What Old Testament passages might the “stranger” have discussed with them in verses 25-
27? Why did Jesus do a roundabout Bible study rather than just reveal his identity directly?
Why did Jesus act as if he were going further?
• Where is your “road to Emmaus”—the place where Jesus surprised you recently? What
happened? Did you urge him to stay? Why or why not?
• How well do you think you can explain the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and
the way a person can come to know him? Who could you communicate these truths with
Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 572, 601, 640-645, 659, 1166, 1329, 2625
Closing Prayer
Remember to read and meditate on the daily Mass reading!
Do not think of the bread and wine as mere bread and wine for they constitute the body and blood of

Christ by the Lord’s own declaration. For even if your sense experience suggests this to you, let your
faith rather confirm it for you. -St. Cyril of Jerusalem

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