Reflection for Sunday, April 26, 2015: 4th week of Easter.

dc.contributor.authorHauser, Dick, S.J.en_US
dc.contributor.cuauthorHauser, Richard J., S.J.en_US Ben_US 4en_US
dc.description.abstract"I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;|I know my sheep, and mine know me."|No words of Jesus are more central to my faith than these.|In 1980 I was on sabbatical in Rome. I recall visiting the Vatican Museum and discovering the statue of Jesus the Good Shepherd. Jesus is presented in this second century sculpture as a  young, beardless man wearing a knee-length tunic and carrying a lamb. I was surprised because I assumed that first images of Jesus would be the crucifixion. Then I recalled that Christianity was forbidden and Christians were persecuted for following Jesus — indeed put to cruel deaths in the Coliseum. Consequently Christians had to practice faith in secret. The shepherd image could be interpreted as a slave carrying a lamb to sacrifice to a Roman god.|After my sabbatical I resumed my university ministry as priest-teacher  and chaplain in a residence hall. During that spring semester tragedy struck. We experienced deaths of six of our students in two accidents, students hit by drunken drivers. I knew well several of the students; one lived directly across the hall from me. In the following weeks I spent many hours counseling grieving students and their families, while at the same time trying to fulfill my other university duties. I became exhausted.|One weekend I sought renewal at a retreat. The director asked us to dialogue with Jesus. The second century image of Jesus the Good Shepherd carrying that lamb on his shoulders popped into my mind. I recall vividly saying to Jesus, "You carry me and I'll carry your sheep." And I recall just as vividly Jesus saying to me, "You carry my sheep and I will carry you."  I had heard the voice mentioned in today's gospel, "My sheep hear my voice."|This experience of Jesus was more profound any other I could recall. I received renewed energy by His presence and was able to return to my ministry of caring for others.|We Christians are invited to make the words of today's responsorial psalm our own  --  words quoted by  Peter's preaching in Acts of the Apostles, "The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone."  Jesus the Good Shepherd is the cornerstone of our faith.|And  John's letter  witnesses to our new depth of intimacy with God. The Risen Jesus dwells within us and we now become part of God's own family, "See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called children of God."|It is impossible to exaggerate God's gift to us through the Resurrected Jesus, so let us rejoice: "This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it."en_US
dc.identifier.otherLectionary Number: 50en_US
dc.program.unitCollege of Arts and Sciencesen_US
dc.publisherUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.publisher.locationOmaha, Nebraska, United Statesen_US
dc.rightsThese reflections may not be sold or used commercially without permission. Personal or parish use is permitted.en_US
dc.rights.holderUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.subject.local1Acts 4:8-12en_US
dc.subject.local2Psalms 118:1+8-9, 21-23, 26+21+29en_US
dc.subject.local31 John 3:1-2en_US
dc.subject.local4John 10:11-18en_US
dc.titleReflection for Sunday, April 26, 2015: 4th week of Easter.en_US
dc.title.seriesDaily Reflections (Meditations) on the Scriptures from the Roman Catholic Lectionary.en_US
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