Fourth Sunday of Easter 2021
By Fr. Robert Leus, CJM
“The stone rejected by the builders...is the one who laid down his life for others...and become the cornerstone!”
It captures the very meaning of Christ as the Good Shepherd: rejected, killed, has risen, and now the name above other names, the cornerstone of our faith! We heard a lot about this 4th Sunday of Easter. It is not just the Good Shepherd Sunday but also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Further, the themes of the gospel today call us to imitate and live the way of life of Jesus Christ as we are children of God!
Jesus’ Father is our father also and we become heirs of the kingdom if we truly live as Jesus' brother. We need to undergo several pains and humiliations like Jesus and even our life sometimes will be at stake but still we will rise also from the dead when the right time comes!
Our trust to the Good Shepherd will be the key to the salvation given by Jesus when he resurrected from the dead, and like the Good Shepherd, our time will come when we will do what Jesus did – to lay down one's life for others!
Our life is too short and we will live in this world only once! Instead of saving for our future which is uncertain, why not save for our life eternal; be the best person or Christian that we can be! There are many people who go astray needing guidance or someone to talk to. For these people, be the shoulder to whom they cry on; a listening ear for their fears and problems in life. Like the Good Shepherd, we need to look for them; we need to find their ways; and we need to listen to their pleas.
Caring and having concern for others are common traits of people who experience the love of God and we need to extend it not only to the members of our family but also to the people who badly need us. Especially in this time of pandemic, our neighbors need us: the people in our workplace; our staff, those who serve us and look for our needs. They are like sheep needing care from a shepherd. We can be that shepherd for them – the good shepherd for them!
As baptized Christians, we have the responsibility to look for the welfare of our brothers and sisters and we will be accountable to God of what we did and what we did not do for them. We are our brothers and sisters’ keepers! May pananagutan tayo sa bawat isa!
This is what the Good Shepherd does: look for the welfare of others; think of their situation; and offer something that we abundantly have in ourselves! Instead of becoming a rotten person without any significance to another, why not give to those who are needy. This way, we can serve a certain purpose for others.
At this time, people are desperately meeting basic needs. This is the reason why community pantries have sprouted in the metropolis. Two of the good qualities of a good shepherd are to serve and to share. The Good Shepherd seeks fr the means in order to provide our daily bread, supplies all what we need, and then we are taught how to share.
Sharing is the key to satisfy everyone´s needs. If we work with God in generosity, he will provide for what we need because when He gives, he gives more than what we need. This is where true sharing starts.
I remember what one of my formators used to tell us when we were still a seminarian, “don’t let material things bother you because God will provide!” This is how the Good Shepherd shows his care and concern for his sheep; he will lay down his one and only life for his flock; even for a single sheep! We consider ourselves as followers of Christ and Christ as the Good Shepherd, we must live the way Jesus lived on earth – looking for the betterment of others and for ourselves too.
Be a good shepherd for all!
Dear Lord, you know everything in us, even what is inside of our hearts. Change our stony heart to the heart of Jesus – the heart that is full of love and compassion so that we may be a good shepherd who looks for the welfare of others!