The Father and Son

This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A.  14 I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd.  Continue reading

For the sheep

This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A. This and the remainder of this week’s post are not part of the Sunday gospel, but are part of the cohesive narrative offered by St. John:  11 I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. 13 This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. Continue reading


This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A. Israel’s leaders were often regarded as shepherds, and even though God was always their principal shepherd, responsible human agents were necessary so that Israel would not be as “sheep without a shepherd” (Num 27:16, 17); and significantly, a charismatic element is said to have rested on such leaders (Num 27:16–21; cf. Isa 11:1–9; 44:28–45:1). God is said to have led the flock Israel through the wilderness by the hand of Moses and Aaron (Ps 77:21; Isa 63:11). Although no Israelite king is ever directly called by the title “shepherd,” it is implied, since David as prince feeds, or shepherds, Israel (2 Sam 5:2), and when Micah predicted the death of Ahab and Israel’s defeat, he said the scattered army would be “as sheep which have no shepherd” (1 Kgs 22:17; 2 Chr 18:16; cf. Num 27:16, 17). Continue reading


Bishop Barron’s post (always good) was especially good, so I have re-posted it here.

Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus declares that he is the bread of life and promises eternal life to all who believe in him.

Many of the Church Fathers characterized the Eucharist as food that immortalizes those who consume it. They understood that if Christ is really present in the Eucharistic elements, the one who eats and drinks the Lord’s Body and Blood becomes configured to Christ in a far more than metaphorical way. The Eucharist, they concluded, Christifies and hence eternalizes.

If the Eucharist were no more than a symbol, this kind of language would be so much nonsense. But if the doctrine of the Real Presence is true, then this literal eternalization of the recipient of Communion must be maintained.

But what does this transformation practically entail? It implies that the whole of one’s life—body, psyche, emotions, spirit—becomes ordered to the eternal dimension. The Christified person knows that his life is not finally about him but about God; the Eucharistized person understands that her treasure is to be found above and not below. Wealth, pleasure, power, honor, success, titles, degrees, even friendships and family connections are all relativized as the high adventure of life with God opens up.

Bishop robert Barron

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Another explanation

This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A. It is evident to Jesus that the disciples do not understand, so Jesus offers another explanation.  Commentaries have long asked how we are to understand the relationship between the two sections marked by “Amen, Amen…” (vv.1-6 and vv.7-18). Are the latter verses making an allegorical explanation to the already presented parable? The problem with such a view is that characters and imagery have changed. In any case, if the latter section is meant to be a clarifying or additional explanation, it likely was not any more effective. Continue reading

Thieves and Robbers

This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A. 8 All who came (before me) are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. Who are the thieves and robbers? Does the phrase in v. 1 refer to the same group as the phrase in v.8 (or “thief” in v. 10) or not? It is likely that they may refer to different groups. Whoever they are in v.8, they came before Jesus. The ones in v.1 are contemporaries with the shepherd. They also seem similar to the “thief” in v. 10, who also has malevolent intentions against the sheep. It would be very Johannine if there are different layers of meaning to this phrase, e.g.: Continue reading

Humility: vice or virtue?

One afternoon in the synagogue, a rabbi was overcome with rapture and threw himself to the ground proclaiming, “Lord, I am nothing!” Not to be bested, the cantor prostrated himself and exclaimed, “Lord, I am nothing!” The temple handyman, working in the back of the sanctuary, joined the fervor, prostrating himself and crying, “Lord, I am nothing!” Whereupon the rabbi nudged the cantor and whispered, “Look who thinks he’s nothing!” Continue reading

Good Shepherd and Sheep

This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter and our gospel text is taken from John 10 which includes the memorable Johannine imagery of the Good Shepherd. The opening verses (vv.1-2) are actually one sentence in the Greek and form a carefully balanced parallelism that establishes the identity of the shepherd (v.2) by first establishing who he is not (v.1).  1 “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. 2 But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.  Continue reading