Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter

(Acts 11:1-18; John 10:1-10)

The word good comes from an Old English root meaning fitting or apt. Jesus calls himself “the Good Shepherd” in the gospel today because he always does what is right for his followers. He protects them from the wolves of passions that might devour their souls. He leads them to the green pastures of wisdom that nourish them to the fullness of life. Yet he does nothing for his own gain. Indeed, he gives his life so that they may flourish.

What makes Jesus not just the Good Shepherd but the best shepherd is that he has power to ward off any threat. He says in the passage today that no one can take his life from him. He gives it for the benefit of his flock but, like the man who amputated his own gangrenous arm a few years ago, remains entirely in control of the situation.

Young men and women graduating college worry about finding a job. Retirees wonder if their pension plans will see them through old age. The middle-aged face new challenges in a dizzyingly changing world. All of us need to trust in Jesus. Rich or poor, enthralled or bored, we will find fullness in Jesus’ fold.