Readings and Reflection for Sunday May 8, Fourth Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday)


“Behold, we turn to the Gentiles.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 13: 14.43-52)

In those days: Paul and Barnabas passed on from Perga and came to Antioch of Pisidia. And on the sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. And many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to continue in the grace of God. The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted what was spoken by Paul, and reviled him. And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.”’ And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of God; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord spread throughout all the region. But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Psalm 100:1-2.3.5 (R. 3c)
R/. We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
Or: Alleluia.

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing for joy. R/.

Know that he, the Lord, is God.
He made us; we belong to him.
We are his people, the sheep of his flock. R/.

R/. We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
Or: Alleluia.

Indeed, how good is the Lord,
eternal his merciful love.
He is faithful from age to age. R/.

“The Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water.”
A reading from the Book of Revelation (Revelation 7:9.14b -17)

I, John, looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. Then one of the elders said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

The word of the Lord

ALLELUIA John 10: 14
Alleluia. I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my own, and my own know me. Alleluia.

“I give my sheep eternal life.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 10:27-30)

At that time: Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

The scene that forms the text for today is found only in Matthew’s Gospel. Through the appearance of the risen Christ, Matthew stresses a point he made earlier through the Emmanuel prophecy (Matthew 1:23), in the mission discourse (10:40) and in other parts of his Gospel, that Jesus would accompany his disciples on mission. His presence with them would be a constant and eternal presence. This is not only because of the promise of Jesus to his disciples and us, but also because of the fact that whenever love is made present Jesus is; whenever concern for another is shown, Jesus is; and whenever we reach out in love and forgiveness, optimism and hope, Jesus is and continues to be. Has Jesus risen in your heart? How will you show this today?


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