Weekly Mass: Tuesdays 12:30pm - 1:00pm
Canary Wharf Prayer Room, Churchill Place (doorway next to car park entrance)
Relection for the Fourth Sunday of Easter
Our Scripture passage for the fourth Sunday of Easter comes from the Gospel of John 10:27-30. In these passages Jesus speaks to us as the Good Shepherd. The scene in today’s passage takes place during the Feast of Dedication. This Feast was an occasion when the Jews called to mind certain themes related to both the experiences of God’s presence and God’s Protection and it is in this framework that Jesus reveals himself as the Good Shepherd and offers his instruction on discipleship.
The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd caring for his flock was frequently used in early Christian iconography. It appears in the catacombs on the outskirts on Rome, often depicting Jesus as the Good Shepherd leading his faith sheep to eternal life, as well as calling the flock to himself.
Jesus says that it takes more than just “hearing” to be a disciple. He also says that his sheep (us) must “follow” him. This instruction means that we incorporate into our lives the faith we believe and profess. It is always important to remember that John’s Gospel never uses the word “faith” as a noun but only as a verb, that’s because John doesn’t want “faith” to become just a fixed set of beliefs for us. Rather, he wants us to remember that faith does something; it is an action that is vibrant and powerful in our lives. Faith is something that is lived out in our “following” and not only in our “hearing”. Too often our secular world wants to keep faith “private and “personal”- more like a feeling than a conviction. Often this cultural expectation means that we can experience a subtle but real pressure to not put our faith into action.
What are the distractions or obstacles we face that prevent us from hearing or following Jesus? Do we seek protection comfort and security in materialism?
Jesus offers us his unwavering love and support to us as our Shepherd, but He also wants us to return this gift to Him by offering this unwavering commitment to one another.