4th Week of Easter: Monday
4th Week of Easter: Monday, 13th May 2019
Acts 11:1-18; Ps. 42(41):2-3; 42:3,4; John. 10:1-10 (Ps Wk IV)
The passage from the Acts describes how the Jews with Peter were amazed that the gentiles received the same gift of the Spirit as they. The gentiles also speak in tongues and tell of God’s wonders as the apostles had done. The falling of the Spirit on the gentiles is like what happened on Pentecost. It fulfils the prophecy of Jesus that “you will be baptised with the Spirit”. To Peter, it is a clear sign that for God, there is no difference between Jews or gentiles. God blesses, cares for and loves whom He wants.
The image of the shepherd in the Gospel reading is an apt metaphor for God’s love for his people. It is linked to the saying of the prophet Ezekiel, when the authorities of his time had become irresponsible and thieving shepherds, feeding themselves instead of the people. Therefore, God will take away their position of authority and become shepherd himself.
John the evangelist sees this prophecy coming to fulfillment in Jesus. God has become the shepherd in Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus’ faithfulness to his sheep, and his sacrifice for them, is in sharp contrast to the selfishness of the people in authority. In this way, Jesus is the Good Shepherd loved by the Father because he will lay down his life for his sheep. It is this act of total, loving self-sacrifice that is mentioned repeatedly in the passage. In addition, as the gate to the sheepfold, Jesus provides safety for his flock by prohibiting entrance to thieves, and by giving food by opening out to pasture lands.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.