Jesus reveals He is the Good Shepherd, condemns false shepherds and promises life to His disciples. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Charity so he can bring many to Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church and by seeking the Gift of Knowledge so he can always recall and be true to his own Christian name.
4th Week of Easter – Sunday – Cycle A – Jn 10:1-10; 4th Week of Easter – Monday – Option 1 – Jn 10:1-10
After performing miracles, teaching and confronting the Pharisees at the Festival of the Tabernacles in Jerusalem, Jesus begins the Good Shepherd Discourse by using the imagery of shepherds to describe trustworthy leadership and to condemn false leaders; the shepherd imagery was familiar and powerful to the people because sheep were raised for food and clothing, and religious sacrificial rituals were referenced repeatedly in Scripture (Ezek 34).
With strong emphasis (“Truly, truly), Jesus uses a mysterious proverb to describe His saving mission and the devious attacks of Satan. God the Father (the Gatekeeper) has sent Jesus (the Shepherd) on a mission (through the gate) to lead willing men (sheep) from earthly life (the sheepfold, a safe pen with walls) to the eternal life of Heaven (pasture; abundant life). Jesus leads (walks ahead) men (sheep) who follow when they hear His call of the Gospel (recognizes shepherd’s voice). Jesus is the only way (the gate) to salvation (Heaven) and knows and calls every man of good will personally (he calls his own sheep by name). Men of good will (the sheep) realize that Jesus is from God (recognize His voice) as He calls to each man (calls his own sheep by name) and they follow Him (lead and follow).
In contrast to the life-saving call of Jesus, evil men are inspired by Satan (thieves) and use deceit (climbs over elsewhere) to avoid God the Father (the Gatekeeper) and seek to corrupt men (sheep) to achieve their evil intent (to steal, slaughter, and destroy). Evil men (misguided Pharisees and false prophets) have deceptive and murderous intent (thieves and robbers); men of good will (Christ’s sheep) do not follow (will not listen) these evil ones (strangers).
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be both awed and filled with sorrow at the prophecy of Jesus, the Divine Prophet: with Divine Knowledge and perfect Reason, Jesus accurately assesses and describes the impact of evil religious leaders; His prophecy remains tragically true today, as millions of baptized Catholic men have abandoned the faith because they cannot hear the voice of Jesus in many of today’s clergy; Divine Judge, Jesus’ Harsh Condemnation of false shepherds and the peril of the lost sheep Warns men of their horrific punishment if they fail to repent and return to Jesus prior to their inevitable Judgment.
Bring many to God’s Holy Catholic Church
Realize: Despite the evil and scandalous acts by a small number of priests (modern thieves and robbers) and the wider failure of the clergy to forcefully and effectively call men to Jesus, the Holy Catholic Church remains the only true sheepfold of Jesus Christ in which men can find certain peace, protection, and salvation.
Believe: Reflect upon the unchanging truth that the Church is a Universal Sacrament of Salvation (CCC 754, 774-776).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me grow in the Virtue of Charity so I more fully love You and lead my loved ones and many others to Your salvation through Your Holy Catholic Church.
Recall and be true to your Christian Name
Realize: By revealing that He calls every man by his “name”, Jesus confirms that He personally knows, loves, desires that every single man be saved, and calls each man by “name” to His Kingdom of Heaven.
Believe: Recall the importance of your Christian Name (CCC 2156-2159, 2165-2167).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Knowledge so I frequently recall the truth of my Catholic identity as confirmed in my Christian name received in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, and help me always strive to live up to the high calling of a Catholic man.