HOMILY OF SUNDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK OF EASTER.
GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY
Acts 2:14,36-41, 1 Peter 2:20-25, John 10:1-10
THEME: THE GOOD SHEPHERD AS A MODEL OF A LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY.
Today is Good Shepherd or Vocation Sunday when we are called to pray for vocation all over the world.
Jesus presents himself to us in the holy gospel as the good Shepherd. He presents himself as the model of a good leader, who cares for his subjects. He presents himself as the legitimate of the reaching the Father.
At night, in a typical pastoral setting, the shepherd may lie down at the entrance to the sheepfold to keep watch over the flock and prevent any animals from entering that could harm the sheep.
“I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand.”
“I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture.
The movement in and out of the sheepfold depicts our freedom in Christ. Jesus promised us divine security and protection. As a model of a good leader, every authority is expected to learn from him.
As priests, fathers, and mothers, or as people occupying a position of authority, we must be protective. We are called to safeguard those under our care. Our presence must offer a sense of security.
More so, a good Christian must be a good citizen. We must make sure we are obedient to constituted authority. Though there are many fast or violent ways of getting whatever we want in life, if we do not cut corners, we will surely have peace of mind. When we break the law, we put our rights into jeopardy. Our boldness to claim our rights is a function of a clear conscience.
If we want to subscribe to true security, we must submit ourselves to the rules of proper decorum.
Passing through Jesus takes us to the path of follower-ship. He is the door, and his rules of life lead to eternal salvation. To find pasture through him goes with the readiness to face the crucibles of life in loving obedience to his will.
However, passing through him as the gate goes beyond mere caring, it equally entails pruning which may come in form of discipline or restraint in our exercise of freedom.
Justice and mercy are two sides of a coin. When we make conscious efforts to do the will of God, His mercy will surely speak for us at the gateways of life.
May the power of his spirit enliven us so that we may freely embrace his ways of life which leads to true freedom. Amen.