Jesus confirms He has been given exclusive authority and power from God the Father to build the Church. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Gratitude so he can gratefully accept Christ’s saving sacrifice on the Cross and by pursuing the Virtue of Religion so he can more fully living a disciplined religious life and be protected by Christ.
4th Week of Easter – Sunday – Cycle B – Jn 10:11-18; 4th Week of Easter – Monday – Option 2 – Jn 10:11-18
After performing miracles, teaching and confronting the Pharisees a number of times at the Festival of the Tabernacles in Jerusalem, Jesus condemns the Pharisees, and asserts His Divinity in the Good Shepherd discourse (Jn 10:1-21). Jesus draws upon the imagery of the shepherd, the sheep, the sheep fold, the gate, and the thieves/strangers, imagery that was well-known because sheep were raised for food, clothing and religious rituals, and were referenced repeatedly in Scripture (Ezek 34); nevertheless, the Pharisees do not grasp what Jesus is saying.
Jesus’ response is astonishing. He boldly asserts His Divinity, saying, “I am” (the Gate, the Good Shepherd), the exact words God used to reveal His identity to Moses in the Burning Bush (Ex 3:14). He reaffirms the reality of Heaven (the sheepfold, eternal life). He confirms He is the Son of God the Father. He reveals that salvation only comes through Him (“enter through Me”). He confirms He will lay down His life to save men, a prophecy of His Passion, and that He has the power to raise Himself from the dead. He affirms He will build His Church (one flock; sheepfold) that includes non-Jews (Gentiles).
Though thinly veiled, Jesus also clearly rebukes and condemns the evil among the Jewish leadership. They are thieves and robbers, strangers, and hirelings, who do not care for the sheep and are cowards when confronted by the wolf (Satan). Not fully comprehending Jesus’ revelations about Himself and His condemnation of the evil among the Jewish leadership, some accuse Jesus of being possessed by a demon, some call Jesus insane, while others are moved by His miracles and attempt to believe (v 19-22 are omitted from the Liturgy).
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be strengthened by Jesus, Son of the Father, who, with Diligence (a part of Justice), fulfills His Duty as a Protector to courageously confront evil, and to heroically lay down His life for the salvation of His men; Jesus, the perfection of Sacrifice, is the model of the heroic call for all Catholic men to be fathers who sacrifice to protect their families.
Gratefully accept Christ’s saving sacrifice on the Cross
Realize: Jesus dies not only for the salvation of mankind, but for the salvation of each and every man who believes in Him and repents from sin; every Catholic man is known and loved by the Son of God, and can freely choose to turn away from sin and be drawn into a deeper personal relationship with Him.
Believe: Jesus sacrifices Himself not only for all men but for you personally (CCC 606-623).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Gratitude (a part of Justice) so I joyfully and thankfully accept the sacrifice of Your Son, repent from sin, be cleansed of my sins in the Sacrament of Penance and grow in holiness.
Be protected by Christ by living a disciplined religious life
Realize: Sheep who wander away from the sheepfold get slaughtered by wolves; so too, men who wander away from Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church, and the disciplines of faith, are much more vulnerable to being tempted into sin and slaughtered by Satan, leading them to eternal death.
Believe: Reflect upon the mysteries of the Sheepfold of the Church (CCC 754, 770-780).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Shepherd, help me build the Virtue of Religion (a part of Justice) and live a disciplined religious life in Your Holy Catholic Church through prayer, Scripture, the Sacraments and many Works of Mercy, so I can be protected by You from sin and the deadly and relentless attacks of Satan.