Fourth Sunday of Easter

“But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” (John 10:5.)

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus reflects on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“He offers you a shepherd. For this is what your good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep is hoping and praying for. Do you on your side offer to God and to us obedience to your pastors? Will you dwell in a place of pasture and be fed by refreshing waters, knowing your Shepherd well and being known by him? Will you follow when he earnestly calls you as a Shepherd through the door? Or will you follow a stranger climbing up into the fold like a robber and a traitor? Will you listen to a strange voice when that voice would take you away by stealth and scatter you from the truth on mountains, and in deserts, and pitfalls, and places that the Lord does not visit? And would you be led away from the sound faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the one power and Godhead whose voice my sheep always heard — and may they always hear it — to follow deceitful and corrupt words that would tear them from their true Shepherd? May we all be kept from this, both shepherd and flock. May we guide and be guided away from such a poisoned and deadly pasture so that we may all be one in Christ Jesus our Lord, now and unto our heavenly rest.” (On Easter and His Reluctance [Oration 1])

Almighty ever-living God,
lead us to a share in the joys of heaven,
so that the humble flock may reach
where the brave Shepherd has gone before.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Reflection on Sunday’s Gospel

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen