April 26, 2015: Fourth Sunday of Easter
Catholic Social Teaching: Life and Dignity of the Human Person
“…We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.” Themes from Catholic Social Teaching, USCCB
First Reading: Acts4:8-12
Psalm: 118: 1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29
Second Reading: 1st John 3:1-2
Gospel: John 10:11-18
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Jesus entrusted a specific authority to Peter: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. “The “power of the keys” designates authority to govern the house of God, which is the Church. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, confirmed this mandate after his Resurrection: “Feed my sheep.” The power to “bind and loose” connotes the authority to absolve sins, to pronounce doctrinal judgements, and to make disciplinary decisions in the Church. Jesus entrusted this authority to the Church through the ministry of the apostles and in particular through the ministry of Peter, the only one to whom he specifically entrusted the keys of the kingdom.(553) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
God’s love bestows on us the inheritance to be called children of God. The opportunity to live in a paradigm blessed in meaning beyond trivial genre of worldly endeavors. An affirmation to live lives of holiness prayerfully grounded in service. A trust, in the eternal hope, to take us beyond fears and questioning God’s eternal plan. Jesus was and is today the manifestation of our filial relationship as children of God. The cornerstone, strength of our faith, our savior where we take refuge, instead of trusting in man or earthly fiefdoms. Not living an agrarian lifestyle, we may have trouble grasping Jesus as the Good Shepherd, ourselves as sheep or envisioning wolves coming to disrupt the placid, serenity of grazing lands. This was the reality of the countryside in the days of the early Christian community, but they offer powerful metaphors when dwelling on the Scriptures today. That we can never pay or hire someone to attend to our soul, for faith can only be genuine if we receive it as a gift. The openness and receptivity to be transformed totally beyond the realm of financial transactions or attraction based on material possessions. Transformation coming from belief in the Triune God abounding in love. Many pseudo wolves scatter us from being community today, individualism, pride, fear of the other. They can attack us by distracting our focus from the true meaning of our lives, to prevent us from loving as we have been loved, as God’s children. The Good Shepherd knows us from the union with His Father. Do we hear His voice in the quiet, in the reception of His Body and Blood, in absorbing Scripture or do we let pseudo wolves scatter us or even become a pseudo wolf to scatter others. Not just by actions, but sometimes thru inaction, lack of compassionate concern or bullying with obsession over religious purity. The Good Shepherd loves us even to the point of giving His life for us. Only by surrendering our lives to His care, can we understand and receive His love.
Individual Reflection: John 10:11-18
There are many Biblical references to the Shepherd and sheep in the Old and New Testaments. Which are most meaningful to you? Share your experience of being a sheep with five people this week.
Family Reflection: John 10: 11-18
Discuss pseudo wolves you must be cognizant of. How might they distract you from living as children of God? Let each family member share and discuss.
Jesus, thank you for being the Good Shepherd. Your attentive care, compassionate ways and love will nurture us into eternity. Protect us from wolves in the disguise of sheep. Shepherd us from seeking God in ways that do not fully surrender to His design. As children of God, may we always affirm our inheritance in service. Thank you for all that you teach our hearts and guide our intellect, so life is abundant in meaning, as you teach us to say BAAH, for we are Blessed, Alive, Attuned and Humble with you as our Good Shepherd. Jesus, in your name we pray Amen
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born, April 11, 2015 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.