Fourth Sunday of Easter
April 22, 2018 – Year B
Readings: Acts 4:8-12 / Ps 118 / 1 Jn 3:1-2 / Jn 10:11-18
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Not too long along, when I was celebrating Mass at one of my former parishes in the Tidewater area, a church with about eight thousand members, we all heard a child crying in the church’s nursery. It is a huge church, so there is a nursery during the Mass. Now almost immediately one of the mothers in the congregation got up to see her child. In less than a minute, the crying stopped.
There were more than thirty children there in the nursery, so how did she know that it was her child crying? The mothers here will not be surprised. You will say that, of course, you can identify the voice of your crying child, even if he or she is a mile away.
The gospel that we have just heard tells us that the Lord Jesus, our Good Shepherd, knows each and every one of us, the sheep of his flock, in a deeply personal way. He said, “I am the Good Shepherd, and I know my sheep.” In the verses that follow, he added, “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”
No assurance from anybody in this world can top that. This promise is coming from the Lord God Himself, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, and nothing is impossible with Him.
Each of us has a problem to solve and a cross to carry. We may even have a burden that we cannot tell anybody, even those who are closest and dearest to us. The good news is that the Lord Jesus is our Good Shepherd and knows what is in our minds and hearts, and everything that is going on in our lives. He knows us even better than we know ourselves. He knows what is going on in our minds right now. But all He needs from us is to put our faith and trust in Him.
In chapter 6 of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said, “Do not worry; your Heavenly Father knows what you need. But this is what you should do. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all the things that you need will be given to you.”
We are indeed blessed to be here in the sanctuary of Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church at this very moment. We are all here because we believe in the Lord’s promise that when we pray, He listens. In a few minutes, we will raise our minds and hearts to our God, as we present our petitions and intercessions. And during the offertory, as we offer the bread and wine to Our Heavenly Father, which will become the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we will also have the opportunity to offer everything that we are and everything that we have, including our problems, difficulties, challenges, and ailments, knowing and believing that He will hear and answer our prayers. During the Preparation of the Gifts, we will be singing song number 635, “The King of Love My Shepherd Is.” The lyrics of this song are taken from the famous Psalm 23, and the words remind us of the great news that the King of Love is our Shepherd, whose goodness will never fail. If we are His, we will lack nothing. And since we are God’s children, He is ours forever.