4th Sunday of Easter John 10:11-18
This selection from the shepherd imagery in Johns gospel follows on Jesus condemnation of the bad shepherding of many religious leaders and his reference to himself as the sheep gate, offering safety to any who enter through him. John writes, familiar with the image about irresponsible shepherds in Ezekiel, an image his audience would know. Jesus, however, is the Good Shepherd, just as God became the saving shepherd in Ezekiels time. As the Good Shepherd, Jesus promises to be faithful to his sheep, willing to lay down his life for those he knows and who know him. As usual his audience is divided in its reaction to him.
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|Story: God is Love. God is our father; but God is also
our mother; A mothers love is a blessing.
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, there was a mother who was widowed when her youngest child was 13 years old, just beginning her last year of grammar school. The mother, who had lost her own mother when she was that same age, resolved to maintain an upbeat attitude so as not to spoil the many events that took place for the eight graders. The mom was very stoic, not letting her daughter see her crying or feeling sorry for herself. She shopped with her daughter for party dresses and shoes. She chaperoned the two eight grade dances one put on by the students themselves at an off campus site and, the other, the annual Altar Societys dinner party. If she cried during any of these events, she hid her tears from her daughter. But, on graduation day, as the daughter was walking back from receiving her diploma, she noticed her mother crying. With a lack of sensitivity not all that uncommon in an eighth grader, she wondered why her mother was crying. Years later, on a Mothers Day, as she reflected on her mothers love, she understood what she didnt realize when the tears were flowing. Her mothers tears were a blessing. If God is also our mother and loves us as this mother loved her daughter, than we can know something about Gods wish that we experience the joys of life as a gift. The flowing tears were a roadmap back to an appreciation of the depth of Divine Love.
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