Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, following the celebrations yesterday of the Good Shepherd Sunday, the fourth Sunday in the season of Easter, today’s Gospel continue speaking about the Lord as our Good Shepherd, as the One Who cares for us and loves us so tenderly, that He is a loving Shepherd to us, desiring nothing else but our redemption and reconciliation with Him.
He has chosen us all His beloved people, by calling us to Himself, like a shepherd calling upon his sheep to gather to him. A shepherd knows all of his sheep, and it is often that each of them has a way to identify each one of them, by their appearances, by marks, or by assigning names to them. In that way, he would know if any of them are not around or are lost from him.
The sheep know their shepherd, and they will only follow him. If another person is to come and call them, they will not follow the stranger. Yet, it is possible indeed for the sheep to be led astray at times, and they become lost. In this, we see the reality about ourselves, how all of us, each of whom belonging to the Lord’s own flock, as He is our Shepherd, can be lost to Him through sin.
The devil has lured us all through his lies and falsehoods, empty and sweet words, filled with false promises, which however sound very alluring and attractive to us. Just as when he tempted our ancestors, Adam and Eve, who got attracted to his lies, and therefore disobeyed God and sinned. And ever since then, Satan, the devil, has worked busily day and night, all the time, trying to lure us away from God’s salvation.
This therefore bring us to the need to realise the fact that in this world, there are still many lost sheep out there, the people who have been separated from God and the rest of His flock. There are still a lot of people who have not yet known the love of God, and are still either ignorant or unaware of His love, His ways and His teachings. And there are many people who have lived in a state of sin, doing things that disobey the will of God, and therefore causing them to be separated further and further from God.
That was what happened at the time of Jesus and His Apostles as well. At that time, the revelation of the truth of God was limited mostly to the Jewish people, the descendants of the people of God, whom He had chosen from among the children of Abraham. However, there were numerous other peoples, originating from various other nations, cultures, races and languages, who have not yet believed in God, and indeed had not yet heard of His salvation.
And because the Lord loves every single one of us mankind, without any exception, for He is our loving God and Creator, and because as our Shepherd, He is the Lord and Master over all of us, even the greatest of sinners, therefore, He does not want any of us to be lost to Him. And as such, He calls everyone to Him, to turn themselves away from their sinfulness, and find their way to Him.
But such is the difficulty of accomplishing the task, that it requires all of our combined efforts in order to make sure that this can succeed. For what is at stake is none other than, and nothing less than the fate of the souls of mankind, the souls of our own brothers and sisters. And the Apostles and disciples had been given the commandment to spread the Good News and the truth to the whole world, that the light of Christ may come to all the peoples, of all races, languages, and origins.
And we are their successors, continuing the good works they had started. We must not falter in our efforts to evangelise, not just by mere words and proclamations, but more importantly, also through action, just as the Lord, our Good Shepherd has shown us His love by dying on the cross for us. We too, therefore, should become shepherds for one another, helping each other on our way to the Lord.
Let us all keep ourselves faithful and true to the faith we have in God. Let us help guide each other on the way of the faith, so that none of us will be lost to the temptations of the devil, but will remain true in faith in all the things we say and do, in our whole lives. May God bless us all, now and forever. Amen.