Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter and today we celebrate the Good Shepherd Sunday as Jesus reminds us in today’s gospel reading from the gospel of Saint John 10:11-18 that He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep. Jesus today re-echoes His love for us this Easter season by reminding us of how He gave His life for our salvation and redemption. So what does it mean to be a good shepherd or better put, who is a good shepherd? A shepherd is a person who tends and rears sheep. Tending sheep here means - to lead or to move the sheep in a particular direction and Rearing sheep here means - to bring up and care for the sheep until they are fully grown. Hence, a good shepherd is one who cares for, leads, guides, protects and nurtures his flock. Jesus indeed is the Good Shepherd who loves and cares for us by leading us closer to His Father, guiding us on our journey to attain the kingdom of heaven, protecting us from the devil and nurturing us to grow and deepen our faith in God.

In our call to service to God and the Church, we are called to be good shepherds to our children, the younger generation and others by loving and caring for them. So ask yourself today, do I lead the young and others closer to God by initiating a virtuous action or a good example for others to follow? Do I guide them by showing them the way to God in their journey of faith to attain the kingdom of heaven? Do I protect them by keeping them safe from spiritual harm or injury, from the devil and the ills and influences of the world? And do I nurture and care for them by encouraging their growth and development in their faith in God?

My dear brothers and sisters, Jesus our Good Shepherd calls on us today to love and care for His flock like He did and continues to do for us by leading our children and the younger generation and others closer to His Father, by guiding them on their journey to attain the kingdom of heaven, by protecting them from the devil and from the ills and evil influences of the world and by nurturing them to grow and deepen their faith in God. Amen!