Fourth Sunday of Easter
Fourth Sunday of Easter Homily Transcript
This past Lent, I had the wonderful opportunity to once again take a group of pilgrims to the Holy Land. And there we saw many wonderful, sacred, and holy sights, like the cave in Bethlehem where Jesus was born, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre over Golgotha where Jesus was crucified.
But one of the unexpected, if you will, sacred and holy sights that I came across was a young boy about this tall carrying this big, huge sheep. And the sheep was black from head to about midsection and then white the rest of the way, and the wool was very fluffy, and the sheep actually smelled pretty good. And the little boy was there for a purpose: first of all, for a dollar, you could get his picture, and for an extra dollar, you could hold the sheep and get your picture.
I couldn’t help but to think of that little boy and that image as we read the scriptures today and hear about Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The call to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and to follow. And to hear that voice of Jesus as Good Shepherd and follow would be so much easier, wouldn’t it, if Jesus were right here in front of us, and we could see him, and speak to him, and literally here his voice? But it’s after the Resurrection, and the gospel today calls us to hear the voice of Jesus and to follow. It’s not so easy to do in our world today because there are so many other voices that demand our time and attention. Voices that tell us to pay attention to those things that are around us now, reminding us that this might be the only life that we have. And yet the voice of the Good Shepherd tells us something different: “Don’t focus on just the seen, but on the unseen.”
And so, I’d like to suggest one way to follow the voice of Jesus. Take some time each day. Spend some quiet time listening in your heart to the voice of Jesus as Good Shepherd. What’s your fear? What’s your concern? Where are you feeling hopeless, or confused, or afraid, or doubtful? That’s where we need to hear the voice of Jesus as Good Shepherd say to us, “You are God’s beloved, and there is nothing, there is nothing that can separate us from that love of God.” To hear that voice, to find that peace in our hearts and souls, to have strength to live by faith, hope, and love each day, and to let that emulate from all of us to one another, that’s hearing the voice of Jesus and truly following our Good Shepherd.
Revelation 7:9, 14b-17
A special thank you this week to our friends from the St. Giles Parish from Oak Park and Immaculate Conception, Warrenville in the congregation.
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