Daily Archives: April 20, 2024

Fourth Sunday of Easter – Cycle B

20 April 2024

Reflecting on John 10: 11-18

Here’s the problem: The GOOD shepherd, the one who loves to the ends of the earth, often meets a terrible and violent death. Jesus knows this. He knows that wolves run in packs, and if the good shepherd tries to protect the sheep from the wolves, the shepherd may well be killed.

Jesus met the death that awaited many good shepherds throughout history. Hunted down by packs of ravenous humans, hungry for revenge, bribed by corporations, fueled by ignorance, caught in the cancers of culture and contempt, the history of the Church is the history of martyrs. Jesus tells us, early in John’s gospel (10:11-18), that he will be martyred for us.

But good shepherds don’t need to be martyred to be inspirations. I recently met a young violinist from Montreal. Asked if he knew the story of the famous St. André Bessette, a monk who devoted his entire vocation to answering the door at the monastery in Montreal, he said, “No, in Montreal we have huge devotions to St. Joseph.”

“Aha!” I said. “Then you do know St. André! He’s the one who spread the devotion to St. Joseph all through Canada.” That’s a good shepherd. St. André was so beloved in Montreal that over one million people processed by his casket, kissing it and touching it, and sharing stories about the love with which he answered the door.

GOOD shepherds lay down their lives in little and large ways. Take you, for instance. I’ll bet you lay down your life many times a day. You don’t realize it, but through the humble witness of your life, like St. André, you are spreading devotion to Christ everywhere you go.

Who have been the good shepherds in your life?

Kathy McGovern ©2024