The Lord is my...
(4th Sunday of Easter: Acts 4:8-12; 1 John 3:1-2; John 10:11-18)
Most of us, if asked to finish the above title phrase, would say: Shepherd. We might even be surprised that today, often called “Good Shepherd Sunday,” we do not have the Twenty-third Psalm as our responsorial.
However, while the Gospel focuses on Jesus as Shepherd, the other readings and the Psalm provide other images or titles.
For example, Jesus is the stone rejected. St. Peter, continuing his discourse which we began reading last week, applies Psalm 118 to the people gathered around him in the Temple: “The stone rejected by you the builders,” reflecting the hostile relationship on the part of some of the people and their leaders.
At La Salette, the Blessed Virgin gave examples of the ways in which her people had rejected her Son. Have we, personally, ever deserved her reproaches? As we contemplate the crucifix on her breast, do we hear Peter’s words, speaking of “Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified”? If so, let us approach the Lord with humble repentance.
Jesus is the cornerstone, the foundation of our faith and of the Church. This image is very close to what we find in Psalm 18, where David calls the Lord “my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.” Here we stand before our God in a relationship of trust.
It is the same with the Good Shepherd, of course, even though sometimes we are tempted by pride to strike out on our own, and finding only the sinful path by ourselves. Since we would never want the Shepherd to abandon us—remember Mary’s words, “If I want my Son not to abandon you”—why would we ever abandon him? We need him to guide us, to nourish us (especially in the Eucharist), to protect us.
Stone rejected, Cornerstone, Good Shepherd: see how these are not just names but relationships with God the Son.
Some might say, “The Lord is my friend,” not as an equal, of course, but as one who truly cares about us. This is part of the La Salette message.
Think about it. Who is Jesus for you? Who are you for him? Most importantly, do you feel how deeply you are loved? And do you respond in kind?
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.