Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 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. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. 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. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”
The Gospel of the Lord
By Sr. Terry Davis, SND
The Fourth Sunday of Easter is also known as “Good Shepherd Sunday”. Because the Gospel describes this image of God, that is where my reflection carried me. I am often reminded of the time I wandered into a church, was surprised by the large number of children and was treated to an hour of listening to different children’s choirs. One song in particular still lingers and it is “Do you know your Shepherd’s Voice?”
In the Gospel, Jesus states, “I am the good shepherd and I know my sheep and mine know me.” This implies a relationship that is so much more than a list of moral codes and religious practices. Jesus is calling us to a deep and intimate relationship, in which we know and hear his voice, and this is reciprocal.
I have listened to the song numerous times and it still calls to me, in the innocence of the voices and in its compelling questions: Do you hear? Are you listening? This is the chorus:
Do you know your Shepherd’s voice Are you list’ning with your heart Have you stopped to hear Him calling Felt the peace His words impart As the world shouts its orders That are easiest to hear Won’t you draw away and listen To your Shepherd. (Text and Music by Susan Lord)
Here is a link to one YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-Oy1Cwi0SM
There are many more versions that you can watch. I suggest, however, that you close your eyes and simply listen to the children singing. Perhaps you can then take some time to let their questions find a home and an answer in your heart.
Our thanks to the Congregational Mission Office of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, which publishes Gospel Reflections for Sundays and Feast Days.