Greetings on this the Fourth Sunday of Easter
Readings: Acts 4:8-12; PS 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29; 1 Jn 3:1-2; Jn 10:11-18
The 4th Sunday of Easter is also named Good Shepherd Sunday.
How many followers do you have?
Social media is all the rage these days. It’s the modern public square where people come to mingle and share stories, new ideas, new recipes, and argue about current affairs. Really, a fine thing in moderation and many good outcomes from all this connectedness (yes, that is a new word).
We use that term “follow” in a very shallow way in regards to social media. We read and “Like” what is useful, interesting or even voyerish (not a real word). Certainly spectatorism (a real word) is a good part of what social media following is all about. No doubt we could linger on the negative aspects of social media but today is Sunday and the Easter Season and we are called to remember our resurrected life!
Thankfully that is not what Jesus Following is about.
Shepherds lead by good example, toward good people and to good places.
In our first reading, Peter, in speaking for the emerging Church, speaks for, through and with the Lord Jesus in a most precarious situation – a trial of sorts. The miraculous healings now being performed by Peter and the other Apostles are the proofs being repeated just as Elisha followed Elijah. All week this prior week we even read of resuscitation of Tabitha who died much in the way of the Jairus’ daughter of the Gospel.
We can say Peter and the Church are Shepherds who lead by good example, toward good people and to good outcomes.
In our second reading, John reminds us that we are on a journey. A journey that begins with conversion, continues with conversion and ends in conversion.
Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We can say John and the Church are Shepherds who lead to our final end. A good end filled with love the Father has bestowed on us.
We follow the Good Shepherd, Jesus, who shows us how to lead, to follow and to be truly alive.
- Protects us from the evil one. He will not run from the evil one but face off and defeat him.
- Lays down his life for the sheep being dedicated to the wellbeing of those who follow.
- Wants to know and be known that is personally connected to each follower, not a number, a person.
- Leads people to the Father who is love.
- Leads people to be loved by the Father in the same ways the Father loves the Son.
- The Father and Son are of one accord that is totally in agreement as to what should become of us.
When Jesus speaks of the unity of Father and Son in direct connection to his giving his life in power he is also saying the Father has given all he is to the Son for this very purpose. The divine godhead has given everything he is for us, his children.
On social media you choose who to Follow.
In the real, we do the same thing.
Choose the one who brings you into the Father’s love, the Good Shepherd.
Peace be with you,
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The Good Shepherd