Fourth Sunday of Easter
by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“We are his people, the sheep of his flock.” A priest once shared that we use two candles at the altar to represent Jesus as the one true light, the Light of the World. One candle represents his divine nature. The other represents his human nature. Both candles burn perfectly as Jesus is true God and true man. In his divinity, Jesus is God, High Priest and Good Shepherd. As God, Jesus is just and righteous. The King of kings and the Lord of lords.  In his humanity, Jesus is true man, true sacrifice, true lamb. He is the faithful servant obedient to the point of death on a cross. As High Priest, Jesus offers himself as the worthy sacrifice to the Father. As the unblemished sacrifice, he is the perfect offering for our redemption and forgiveness of our sins. As Good Shepherd, he faithfully leads the flock to God by his words, example, deeds.  Jesus shows us the value of believing, trusting, listening to God’s voice and following God’s lead.  Jesus helps us to understand the importance of trusting the Holy Spirit and entrusting ourselves to his gracious gifts that we may do God’s will and not our own. The Good Shepherd is the one who laid down his life for us. He freely gave his life. By his wounds, we have been healed. By his death, we live forever. Pope Francis said we must smell like our sheep.  I wonder if we smell like our Good Shepherd. The sweet fragrance of goodness, purity, holiness. Jesus is the gate to the Father’s heart. He cares for his sheep, he tends to the Spirit within them, he feeds them with himself, he provides his sheep with safe passage to their true home. As sheep, we also have a role to play. As faithful, beloved children of God, we are dependent on God, we need God, he cares for us, he always provides for us. As God’s flock entrusted to the care of the Good Shepherd, we must be attentive to Jesus’ voice, open to his instruction, obedient to his commands, faithful to his guidance, willing to follow his lead. Sheep wander; we must not. We must remain faithful to Jesus and stay on the path to eternal life. When we head in the wrong direction, we must acknowledge we are heading the wrong way, that we are lost and in need of assistance. Cry out to Jesus. Allow the Good Shepherd to put you on his shoulder and safely bring you back into the fold.

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