FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR B – 20th / 21st April, 2024

This Sunday is traditionally known as Good Shepherd Sunday. Two major themes emerge from the readings: an image of the one who saves; and the power of salvation itself. The one who saves is not a mighty warrior who comes in military array. In fact, he is the one who was rejected, who was hunted down, humiliated, tortured and hung naked on a tree, there to die in shame. The one who saves is the cornerstone of the building, holding it together, forming a firm foundation so that the structure will not collapse. The one who saves is a lowly shepherd, entrusted with sheep, not with the affairs of state. The one who saves is an unlikely saviour. God’s saving power flows from steadfast covenant love. It broke open the world in the death and resurrection of Jesus and it overflows as healing grace. The saving power in the name of Jesus, a name that itself means ‘saviour’ is for all people, even for those sheep who do not yet belong to this fold. Furthermore, it is for all time; God’s mercy endures forever. Through our baptism we can bring the saving grace of God to a world in desperate need of healing. We can do this in our families, in our local communities, in the workplace, in so many situations of our lives.