Homily‎ > ‎

17th April 2016 - 4th Sunday of Easter

posted 16 Apr 2016, 00:06 by St Wilfrid RC Haltwhistle



Safe and secure. We are fundamentally safe and

secure. Jesus is our safety. Jesus is our security.

We are his very own. Jesus is Good Shepherd.

Jesus is model shepherd. Jesus calls himself the

Good Shepherd to help us understand all that he is

for us and what we must be for each other. Jesus

names himself the Good Shepherd to bring home to

us the relationship he has with us and we have with



The title Good Shepherd is the inspired description

of Jesus' earthly ministry. He seeks out the lost,

the wayward and the excluded and left to ourselves

we are the lost, the wayward and the excluded.


Nor does Jesus' earthly ministry end there. Jesus

guides and provides. He guides us by his teaching.

He provides for our every need, whatever the shape

or form of that need. And we all need constant

guidance for our every thought, word and deed.

We all need his nourishment for mind, body and



Jesus does all these things because when he looks

at the umpteenth, billionth crowd of us, "a huge

number, impossible to count, of people from every

nation, race tribe and language", he is filled with

compassion. He knows our condition. He knows

where we are coming from. He knows all about

"fallout" and we are "fall-out- folk", sheep without

a shepherd. All this he knows full well from deep

down within his humanity.


Upon prayerful reflection we know that Jesus is our

Good Shepherd. In the course of our lives,

throughout our experience, at the bottom of us we

know Jesus leads us through all our times, the best

and the worst of times. Jesus is with us in our

isolation. His voice resounds throughout our

chequered lives and we recognise that voice. We

discover the ways in which he provides for us. All

this is particularly evident in the people who

frequent our lives; the people Jesus sends to us and

gives us. Jesus expresses his love for us through

them. They are his love for us.

And we too are called. Our vocation and calling is

to extend and fulfil Jesus' mission of total care.

We are moved with compassion for humanity and

then go to seek out the lost, the wayward and

excluded. We are called to guide and provide, to

give guidance for living and provide for the needy,

whatever the need; physical or spiritual.


This shepherding is the responsibility of and

belongs to all of us who are baptised. We are, after

all, priests, kings and prophets, mediators, servants

and witnesses. This is our mission in our world,

self-sacrificing service. It is prompted by the same

love and concern that fills the heart of Jesus. We

desire only the good and the wellbeing of our

brothers and sisters, young and old. Out of our

experience of our Lord and Good Shepherd we

long for others to know his generosity, experience

his goodness, taste his sweetness and feel the safety

of his guiding hand.


And that is vocation! Whatever the shape of our

response, single, married, celibate, lay or cleric,

tinker, tailor, rich or poor. That is vocation, to be

Good Shepherd to all, just like Jesus, who says, "I

am the Good Shepherd."