4th Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday), Year C
Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!
Liturgical Colour: White.
Mass Readings from ETWN.
1st Reading: Acts 13:14, 43-52
Responsorial: Psalms 100:1-2,3,5
2nd Reading: Revelation 7:9, 14-17 &
Gospel: John 10:27-30 , Gospel Video.
Acknowledgment: We thank the Publisher for allowing us to publish the Mass Readings to be used as reference for Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us around the World.
Please spread the News to help them. Many Thanks.
Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
Dear Pope Saint John Paul II, See here. Please help us. Thanks.
See our compilation with pictures in Encouragements-231. 8-)
1. Today we are celebrating the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. It occurs on this Fourth Sunday of Easter, also called “Good Shepherd Sunday”, because in the liturgy the well-known passage in John’s Gospel is proclaimed which presents Christ precisely as “the good shepherd” who “lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
In this particularly significant liturgical setting, I had the joy this morning of ordaining, in St Peter’s Basilica, 30 new priests for the Diocese of Rome. I invoked upon each of them the Holy Spirit, who, by a unique sacramental grace, has appointed them ministers of Christ the Good Shepherd, so that the faithful, through the word and sacraments, “may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
I invite everyone to pray for these young priests, and to pray that in Rome and throughout the world there will be many who generously answer the Lord’s call by laying down their own lives in service to the Gospel.
2. Labour Day, which was observed on 1 May in various parts of the world, had great importance. It was a fitting occasion for reflecting on the meaning of work in the life of the individual and of society.
On that day especially, I brought before God in prayer the problems that currently trouble the world of work: unemployment, underemployment, the exploitation of child labour and the conditions of insecurity in which work is sometimes carried out.
I hope that political and trade-union forces will dedicate themselves with renewed commitment to seeking appropriate solutions to the problems made even more acute today by the phenomenon of globalization, so that the dignity of human work and the rights of the worker will always be respected.
3. As the month of May begins, Mary stands before us as the model of every vocation: not only of those who accept the invitation to be totally consecrated to God and to the coming of his kingdom, but also of those who intend to bear witness to their faith in married and professional life.
Our Lady, as well as Christ himself, lived both these aspects of human activity in an extraordinary, perfect combination. As Joseph’s wife and Jesus’ mother, she was a home-maker in Nazareth, involved in raising and educating her Son according to God’s will. And when he left home and the carpenter’s shop to devote himself completely to the work of salvation entrusted to him by God the Father, she followed him with deep fidelity all the way to the Cross and Resurrection, becoming the model and mother of the Church.
We turn to Mary with trust. The Lord will not fail, through the intercession of his Mother, to raise up many holy vocations to serve the kingdom of God in our time.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Regina Caeli, 3 May 1998)
3. "I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples ad tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands" (Revelation 7:9).
This reading in today’s Liturgy, taken from the Book of Revelation, shows, in its own way, the work wrought by Saint Paul’s apostolic ministry. Saint Paul played an essential role in the proclamation of the Gospel outside Israel. The Mediterranean lands became the focus of Paul’s evangelizing efforts. And we can say that subsequently, in the centuries that followed down to our own time, the immense progress of the proclamation of the Gospel follows in a sense logically from the ministry of the Apostle of the Nations. Down to our own time the Church continues to bear the fruits of his apostolic activity and constantly refers to the missionary ministry of Saint Paul, who became for whole generations of Christians the pioneer and inspirer of all mission.
Following the example of Saint Paul, the Church is invited to look to the ends of the earth in order to continue the mission entrusted to her to transmit the light of the Risen One to all peoples and cultures, while respecting the freedom of individuals and communities, including spiritual communities. The immense multitude of people of every origin is called to give glory to God. For, as Saint Ephraem says, "You have no need to communicate to us the treasures which you give us. You need only one thing: that we open our hearts to carry your good things, by surrendering our will and listening to you with our ears. All your works shine with the wreaths which the wisdom of your mouth made for them when you said: ‘All this is very good’" (Diathermane, 2, 5-7).
Like Paul, the disciples of Christ face a great challenge: they are to transmit the Good News by expressing it in a manner suited to each culture, without losing its content or altering its meaning. Do not be afraid to bear witness to this joyful news among your brothers and sisters, by your word and by your whole life: God loves everyone and calls them to be one family in love, for they are all brothers and sisters!
4. This joyful news should inspire all Christ’s disciples to seek ardently the paths of unity. By making their own the Lord’s prayer "may they all be one", they will bear witness in an ever more genuine and credible way. I truly rejoice at the fraternal relations which already exist between the members of the Christian Churches of your countries, and I encourage you to develop them in truth and with care, in communion with your Patriarchs and Bishops. At the dawn of the new millennium Christ is calling us all to come closer to one another in the charity which forms our unity. Be proud of the great liturgical and spiritual traditions of your Churches of the East! They are part of the heritage of the one Church of Christ and are bridges between people of different persuasions. Since the beginnings of Christianity, your land experienced a flourishing Christian life. In spiritual descent from Ignatius of Antioch, Ephraem, Simeon and John Damascene, the names of many Fathers, monks, hermits and so many other saints who are the glory of your Church are still in the living memory of the universal Church. By your attachment to the land of your fathers, by living your faith here with generosity, you too in turn today bear witness to the fruitfulness of the Gospel message which has been handed down from generation to generation.
With all your compatriots, without distinction of community, continue tirelessly your efforts to build a society marked by fraternity, justice and solidarity, where everyone’s human dignity and fundamental rights are recognized. In this holy land, Christians, Muslims and Jews are called to work together, with confidence and boldness, and to work to bring about without delay the day when the legitimate rights of all peoples are respected and they can live in peace and mutual understanding. Among you, may the poor, the sick, the handicapped and all those hurt by life be always brothers and sisters who are respected and loved! The Gospel is a powerful element in the transformation of the world. By your witness of life, may people today find the response to their deepest aspirations and the foundations for social coexistence!
5. Christian families, the Church looks to you with confidence to pass on to your children the faith you have received over the centuries since the time of the Apostle Paul. By remaining united and open to all, by always defending the right to life from conception, be homes of light, in full conformity to God’s plan and the true requirements of the human person! Give significant time to prayer, to listening to God’s word and to Christian education; in them you will find effective support to tackle the difficulties of daily life and the great challenges of today’s world. Any faithful and consistent Christian life requires regular participation in the Sunday Eucharist. The Eucharist is a privileged gift where communion with God and others comes about and is proclaimed.
Brothers and sisters, do not tire of seeking the face of Christ who shows himself to you. In him you will find the secret of true freedom and joy of heart! May your hearts be filled with the desire for genuine fraternity with all! By placing yourselves enthusiastically at the service of others, you will find meaning in your life, because Christian identity is not defined by opposition to others but by the ability to go out of oneself towards one’s brothers and sisters. Openness to the world, with clarity and without fear, is part of the vocation of the Christian, conscious of his own identity and rooted in the religious heritage which the richness of the Church’s witness expresses.
6. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I shall give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them our of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one" (John 10:27-30).
These are the words of today’s Gospel, by which Jesus Christ himself shows us the admirable dynamism of evangelization. God, who in many and various ways spoke to our fathers by the prophets, finally spoke by his Son (cf. Hebrews 1:1-2). This Son, one in substance with the Father, is the Word of life. It is he who gives eternal life. He came so that we might have life and have it abundantly (cf. John 10:10). At the gates of Damascus, when he met the Risen Christ, Saint Paul learned this truth and made it the content of his preaching. The wonderful reality of the Cross of Christ, upon which the work of the world’s Redemption was wrought, became present before him. Paul understood this reality and consecrated his whole life to it.
Brothers and sisters, let us lift our eyes to the Cross of Christ to find the source of our hope! In it we find a genuine path of life and happiness. Let us contemplate the loving face of God who gives us his Son to make us all "of one heart and soul" (Acts 4:32). Let us welcome him into our lives to inspire us and bring about the mystery of communion which embodies and makes manifest the very essence of the Church.
Your belonging to the Church should be a sign of hope for you and your brothers and sisters, which reminds us that the Lord meets everyone on their journey, often in a mysterious and unexpected way, just as he met Paul on the road to Damascus, surrounding him with his brilliant light.
May the Risen One, whose Resurrection all Christians celebrated together this year, grant us the gift of communion in charity! Amen.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 6 May 2001)
1. "The Good Shepherd is risen! He who laid down his life for his sheep... Alleluia" (Communion Antiphon).
The liturgy today invites us to fix our gaze on Christ the Good Shepherd. Agnus redemit oves, the Easter Sequence sings. "The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb". The Only-Begotten Son of the Father, the Good Shepherd of humanity, died on the Cross and, on the third day, rose from the dead.
This is the Good News that the Apostles, clothed with power by the Holy Spirit, brought to all the peoples, starting with Jerusalem (cf. Luke 24: 47-49). This is the Good News that continues to ring out at the beginning of the third millennium. The compassionate gaze of Christ, the risen Good Shepherd, is the origin of the gift and mystery of the vocation to pastoral ministry in the Church.
3. You are becoming priests at a time when even here in Rome strong cultural trends seem to want to make people forget God, especially young people and families. But do not be afraid: God will always be with you! With his help you will be able to find the paths that lead to the heart of every person, and proclaim to all that the Good Shepherd laid down his life for them and wants them to share in his mystery of love and salvation. However, to accomplish this very necessary task Jesus must always be the centre of your life, and you must maintain deep union with him through prayer, daily personal meditation, fidelity to the Liturgy of the Hours and, above all, the devout daily celebration of the Eucharist. If you are filled with God, you will be true apostles of the new evangelization, for no one can give what he does not have in his heart.
May Mary, the sweet Mother of the Good Shepherd for whom I invite you all to constantly foster deep filial devotion, accompany you and watch over you always.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 2 May 2004)
Dear Pope Benedict XVI, See here. Please pray for us. Thanks.
See our compilation with pictures in Encouragements-232. 8-)
On this Fourth Sunday of Easter, known as "Good Shepherd Sunday", the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is celebrated. This year its theme, "Witness Awakens Vocations", is "closely linked to the life and mission of priests and of consecrated persons" (Message for the 47th World Day of Vocations, 13 November 2009). The first form of witness that awakens vocation is prayer (cf. ibid.,), as the example of St Monica shows. By humbly and insistently imploring God she obtained the grace of seeing her son Augustine become a Christian. He wrote: "Without uncertainty, I believe and affirm that through her prayers God granted me the intention of not putting first, not desiring, not thinking and not loving, anything other than the achievement of truth" (De Ordine, II, 20, 52, CCL 29, 136). I therefore invite parents to pray, that the hearts of their children may be open to listening to the Good Shepherd, and that "each tiny seed of a vocation... may... grow into a mature tree, bearing much good fruit for the Church and for all humanity" (Message, cit.). How can we listen to the voice of the Lord and recognize it? In the preaching of the Apostles and of their successors in which Christ's voice rings out, calling us to communion with God and to the fullness of life. As we read today in the Gospel of St John: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand" (John 10: 27-28). The Good Shepherd alone tends his flock with deep tenderness and protects it from evil, and in him alone can the faithful put absolute trust.
On this day of special prayers for vocations, I encourage the ordained ministries in particular, encouraged by the Year for Priests, to feel committed to bearing "a more forceful and incisive witness to the Gospel in today's world" (The Holy Father's Letter to priests for the inauguration of the Year for Priests, 16 June 2009). May they remember that the priest "continues the work of redemption on earth"; may they gladly pause "before the tabernacle"; may they seek to remain "completely faithful to [their] own vocation and mission through the practice of an austere asceticism"; may they make themselves available to listening and to forgiving; may they impart a Christian formation to the people entrusted to them; may they take pains to foster a "priestly fraternity" (cf. ibid.). May they follow the example of wise and zealous Pastors, as did St Gregory of Nazianzus, who wrote to his fraternal friend and Bishop, St Basil: "Teach us your love for the sheep, your solicitude and your capacity for understanding, your watchfulness... severity in gentleness, serenity and meekness in activity... combats in defence of the flock, victories... won in Christ" (Oratio IX, 5, PG 35, 825 ab).
Pope Benedict XVI (Regina Caeli, 25 April 2010)
Dear Pope Francis, See here. Please pray for us. Thanks.
See our compilation with pictures in Encouragements-232. 8-)
The Fourth Sunday of the Season of Easter is characterized by the Gospel of the Good Shepherd — in chapter ten of St John — which is read every year. Today’s passage records these words of Jesus: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (10:27-30). These four verses contain the whole of Jesus’ message; it is the nucleus of his Gospel: he calls us to share in his relationship with the Father, and this is eternal life.
Jesus wants to establish with his friends a relationship which mirrors his own relationship with the Father: a relationship of reciprocal belonging in full trust, in intimate communion. To express this profound understanding, this relationship of friendship, Jesus uses the image of the shepherd with his sheep: he calls them and they recognize his voice, they respond to his call and follow him. This parable is very beautiful! The mystery of his voice is evocative: only think that from our mother’s womb we learn to recognize her voice and that of our father; it is from the tone of a voice that we perceive love or contempt, affection or coldness. Jesus’ voice is unique! If we learn to distinguish it, he guides us on the path of life, a path that goes beyond even the abyss of death.
However Jesus, at a certain point, said: “my Father, who has given them to me...” (John 10:29), referring to his sheep. This is very important, it is a profound mystery, far from easy to understand. If I feel drawn to Jesus, if his voice warms my heart, it is thanks to God the Father who has sown within me the desire for love, for truth, for life, for beauty... and Jesus is all this in fullness! This helps us understand the mystery of vocation and especially of the call to a special consecration. Sometimes Jesus calls us, he invites us to follow him, but perhaps we do not realize that it is he who is calling, like what happened to the young Samuel. There are many young people today, here in the Square. There are large numbers of you aren’t there? It’s clear.... Look! Here in the Square today there are so many of you! I would like to ask you: have you sometimes heard the Lord’s voice, in a desire, in a worry, did he invite you to follow him more closely? Have you heard him? I can’t hear you? There! Have you wanted to be apostles of Jesus? We must bet on youth for the great ideals. Do you think this? Do you agree? Ask Jesus what he wants of you and be brave! Be brave! Ask him this!
Behind and before every vocation to the priesthood or to the consecrated life there is always the strong and intense prayer of someone: a grandmother, a grandfather, a mother, a father, a community.... This is why Jesus said: “Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest”, that is, God the Father, “to send out labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38). Vocations are born in prayer and from prayer; and only through prayer can they persevere and bear fruit. I am pleased to stress this today, which is the “World Day of Prayer for Vocations”.
Let us invoke the intercession of Mary who is the Woman of the “yes”. Mary said “yes” throughout her life! She learned to recognize Jesus’ voice from the time when she carried him in her womb. May Mary, our Mother, help us to know Jesus’ voice better and better and to follow it, so as to walk on the path of life! Thank you.
Pope Francis I (Regina Caeli, 21 April 2013)
Beloved brothers, these men, our brothers and sons, are now to be raised to the order of priests. It is true that God has made his entire people a royal priesthood in Christ. But our High Priest, Jesus Christ, also chose some of his followers to carry out publicly in the Church a priestly ministry in his name on behalf of mankind. He was sent by the Father, and he in turn sent the apostles into the world; through them and their successors, the bishops, he continues his work as Teacher, Priest, and Shepherd.
You, beloved sons and brothers, are now to be advanced to the order of the presbyterate. You must apply your energies to the duty of teaching in the name of Christ, the chief Teacher. Share with all mankind the word of God, the word of God that you have received with joy. Remember your history, the gift of the word that the Lord has given you through your mother, grandmother — as St Paul said — the catechists and the entire Church. Meditate on the law of God, believe what you read, teach what you believe, and put into practice what you teach.
Let the doctrine you teach be true nourishment for the people of God. Let the example of your life attract the followers of Christ, so that by word and action — word and actions go together — you may build up the house which is God’s Church. In the same way you must carry out your mission of sanctifying in the power of Christ. Your ministry will perfect the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful by uniting it to Christ’s sacrifice, the sacrifice which is offered sacramentally through your hands.
Know what you are doing and imitate the mystery you celebrate. In the memorial of the Lord’s death and resurrection, make every effort to die in sin and to walk in the new life of Christ. Bring the death of Christ within yourselves and walk with Christ in new life. Without the cross you will never find the true Christ; a cross without Christ makes no sense.
When you baptize, you will bring men and women into the people of God. In the sacrament of penance, you will forgive sins in the name of Christ and the Church. Please, in the name of the same Jesus Christ, the Lord, and in the name of the Church, I ask you to be merciful, very merciful. With holy oil you will relieve and console the sick. You will celebrate the liturgy and offer thanks and praise to God throughout the day, praying not only for the people of God but for the whole world.
Remember that you are chosen from among God’s people. Chosen, do not forget that you are chosen! The Lord called you one by one. You are chosen and appointed to act for them in relation to God. Do your part in the work of Christ the Priest with genuine joy and love, and attend to the concerns of Christ before your own.
United with the bishop and subject to him, seek to bring the faithful together into a unified family and to lead them effectively, through Christ and in the Holy Spirit, to God the Father. Always remember the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve, and to seek out and rescue those who were lost.
Pope Francis I (Homily, 17 April 2016)
Today’s Gospel (John 10:27-30) offers us some of Jesus’ expressions during the feast of the dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem, which is celebrated at the end of December. He is found on the Temple grounds, and perhaps that enclosed sacred space suggested to Him the image of the sheepfold and the shepherd. Jesus is presented as “the Good Shepherd”, and says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand” (vv. 27-28). These words help us to understand that no one can call himself a follower of Jesus, if he does not listen to His voice. And this “listening” should not be understood in a superficial way, but in an engaging way, to the point of making possible a true mutual understanding, from which one can come to a generous following, expressed in the words, ‘and they follow me’ (v. 27). It is a matter of listening not only with ears, but listening with the heart!
And so, the image of the shepherd and the sheep indicates the close relationship that Jesus wants to establish with each one of us. He is our guide, our teacher, our friend, our model, but above all he is our Saviour. In fact, the following expressions from the Gospel passage affirm, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand” (v. 28). Who can say that? Only Jesus, because the “hand” of Jesus is one thing with the “hand” of the Father, and the Father is “greater than all” (cf. v. 29).
These words communicate to us a sense of absolute security and immense tenderness. Our life is fully secure in the hands of Jesus and the Father, which are a single thing: a unique love, a unique mercy, revealed once and for all in the sacrifice of the Cross. To save the lost sheep which we all are, the Shepherd became lamb, and let himself be immolated so as to take upon himself and to take away the sin of the world. In this way he has given us life, life in abundance (cf. John 10:10)! This mystery is renewed, in an always surprising humility, on the Eucharistic table. It is there that the sheep gather to nourish themselves; it is there that they become one, among themselves and with the Good Shepherd.
Because of this we are no longer afraid: our life is now saved from perdition. Nothing and no one can take us from the hands of Jesus, because nothing and no one can overcome his love. Jesus’ love is invincible. The evil one, the great enemy of God and of his creatures, attempts in many ways to take eternal life from us. But the evil one can do nothing if we ourselves do not open the doors of our hearts to him, by following his deceitful enticements.
The Virgin Mary heard and obediently followed the voice of the Good Shepherd. May she help us to welcome with joy Jesus’ invitation to become his disciples, and to always live in the certainty of being in the paternal hands of the Father.
Pope Francis I (Regina Caeli, 17 April 2016)
Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.
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Compiled on 5 May 2019