Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
(Acts 11:1-18; John 10:1-10)
As a simple way to safeguard yourself from Internet porn, a wise man suggests placing an image of Jesus crucified on your computer screen. If you are tempted to click on furtive link, being reminded of Jesus may dissuade you. In the gospel today Jesus presents himself in a similar way.
The sheep gate is the entrance of a cove the fold is resting. It keeps the sheep together while allowing admittance only to the shepherd who comes to care for the animals. In the extended parable Jesus pictures himself in both roles. He keeps his flock, the Church, together and tends to its needs. His word gives the people a common mind and his Body and Blood provide the fullness of spiritual life.
Some resist the image of Jesus as shepherd because it implies that they are as apparently simple-minded as sheep. This may be an affront to sheep who know at least to come out of the rain. But more importantly, the image conveys the closeness between Jesus and ourselves. Like the shepherd gives his or her sheep total concern, Jesus has died that we may live to the fullness of our potential.