Appleton, WI

Homily Connect: May 5

Fourth Sunday of Easter-Sunday May 5, 2020

ACTS 2:14A, 36-41 1 | PT 2:20B-25 | JN 10:1-10


“So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal, slaughter and destroy; I came so that they may have life and have it more abundantly.”

The Rancher, the Cowboy and the Shepherd

Jesus Chooses the Title of Shepherd

  • He’s humble
  • He cares for the basic needs of his flock
  • He has compassion for each individual sheep ( the sick, injured, orphaned, pregnant)

(1) Jesus’ Power Grounded in Humble Service

  • His authority has one purpose-reach out, search out, seek out and to care for every person
    (Especially the marginalized)
  • There is nothing more important than the human person

(2) The Good Shepherd is willing to Lay Down His Life for His Sheep

  • His sheep are beloved
  • He has a relationship with each of them
  • He knows them by name

(3) The Always Tender Good Shepherd Watches Over Us

  • From the middle of the flock
  • He walks along side
  • He accompanies each person with compassion
  • He sometimes walks in front to survey the terrain (This is where we need to relinquish control and trust)
  • He sometimes needs to follow behind to attend the forgotten or someone who has wandered off

We Appreciate the Tender Good Shepherd with us Today in our Turmoil

Praying through Ann Weem’s Book Song of Lament in Difficult Days

Ann’s Fifth Psalm of Lamentation

“O God, find me! I am lost in the valley of grief, and I cannot see my way out.  My friends leave baskets of balm at my feet, but I cannot bend to touch the healing to my heart.  They call me to leave this valley, but I cannot follow the faint sound of their voices.  They sing their song of love, but the words fade and vanish in the wind. They knock, but I cannot find the door.  They shout to me, but I cannot find the voice to answer.  O God, find me.  Come into this valley and find me! Bring me out of this land of weeping.  O you to whom I belong, find me! I will wait here, for you have never failed to come to me.  I will wait here, for you have always been faithful. I wait here, for you are my God, and you have promised that you counted the hairs on my head.”

Let Us Pray!

With the Shepherd King David, we pray this morning, “Jesus, you are my Good Shepherd. I shall not be afraid. Fresh and green are the pastures where you lead me. Beside restful waters you guide me, to refresh my drooping spirit.” (Psalm 23) Amen.

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from today’s Gospel and/or homily?
  • What is an experience of Jesus as the Good Shepherd in your life?
  • From what position do you see Jesus shepherding you personally today (behind, in the middle, etc.?
  • How do you see Jesus shepherding our Church, our nation, our world during the pandemic?
  • If you were to write your own Psalm of Lament during this pandemic, what would it sound like?

Live Connected

  • Consider those in your life who might need Jesus the Good Shepherd more than ever. Pray for them ask Jesus to embrace and comfort them.
  • When you have the opportunity to share Jesus with someone, consider using the image of the Good Shepherd.