On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 4, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Does our Lord love the Jews more than us Christians? Does He love Christians more than Muslims, Hindus, or even Atheists? If we start comparing or even entertain such notions then in truth we do not know Jesus nor will we ever draw closer in knowing God our Father. For the Lord our God has no favourites and Jesus had said it clearly, “And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock, and one shepherd.”Do we ourselves even hear the voice of our beloved Shepherd speaking to us as He does so daily? If we do not, then how will we ever hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit to be instruments of God’s grace for the unbelievers of the downcasts?Jesus laid down His life for love of us; God’s children. All of us are God’s children. By our baptism our hearts are opened to the awareness that we have entered into eternal sonship and daughterhood of God our Heavenly Father. So then let us lead the rest of God’s children into the same gate by which we have entered; through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

Acts 11:1-18
God can grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to lifeThe apostles and the brothers in Judaea heard that the pagans too had accepted the word of God, and when Peter came up to Jerusalem the Jews criticised him and said, ‘So you have been visiting the uncircumcised and eating with them, have you?’ Peter in reply gave them the details point by point: ‘One day, when I was in the town of Jaffa,’ he began ‘I fell into a trance as I was praying and had a vision of something like a big sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners. This sheet reached the ground quite close to me. I watched it intently and saw all sorts of animals and wild beasts – everything possible that could walk, crawl or fly. Then I heard a voice that said to me, “Now, Peter; kill and eat!” But I answered: Certainly not, Lord; nothing profane or unclean has ever crossed my lips. And a second time the voice spoke from heaven, “What God has made clean, you have no right to call profane.” This was repeated three times, before the whole of it was drawn up to heaven again.
‘Just at that moment, three men stopped outside the house where we were staying; they had been sent from Caesarea to fetch me, and the Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going back with them. The six brothers here came with me as well, and we entered the man’s house. He told us he had seen an angel standing in his house who said, “Send to Jaffa and fetch Simon known as Peter; he has a message for you that will save you and your entire household.”
‘I had scarcely begun to speak when the Holy Spirit came down on them in the same way as it came on us at the beginning, and I remembered that the Lord had said, “John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” I realised then that God was giving them the identical thing he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; and who was I to stand in God’s way?’
This account satisfied them, and they gave glory to God. ‘God’ they said ‘can evidently grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to life.’

Gospel

John 10:11-18
The good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheepJesus said:‘I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.
The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep and runs away as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep;
this is because he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep.‘I am the good shepherd;
I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep.
And there are other sheep I have
that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock, and one shepherd.‘The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me;
I lay it down of my own free will,
and as it is in my power to lay it down, so it is in my power to take it up again; and this is the command I have been given by my Father.’

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