April 25: Fourth Sunday of Easter. Readings: 1. Acts 4:8-12; Psalm: ; 2. 1 John 3:1-2; Gospel: John 10:11-18.
As we celebrate yet another Sunday in the Easter season, we have words of sacred Scripture that pose for us a set of basic data that inspired early Church authors to expand our belief in, and commitment to, the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth.
Again, this Sunday, we hear part of a public speech made by Peter. In response to hostile treatment from the leading Jewish authorities of his time, Peter’s address to them quickly points out that the miraculous ministry they, the apostles, have been exercising derives from Jesus crucified and risen from the dead. This very public performance of notable deeds, therefore, more than adequately testifies that, through his agents, Jesus Christ continues to bring full life to those miserably trapped in desperate circumstances.
With the two verses from 1 John, the message of transformation endures. As God’s beloved children, these verses encourage us to behold the end to which the heavenly Father is calling us. And, while doing that, we are to put our trust in our God who, throughout life’s journey, never ceases to care for our needs.
John the evangelist’s “I am the Good Shepherd” saying neatly complements the other two readings. For these Johannine verses emphasise the enduring and genuine nature of divine guidance and protection for all members of the flock. The idea of laying down one’s life for the sheep reinforces this message and helps us to contemplate the saving act of the cross which has opened the path to eternal well-being.
Because of the focus emerging from these readings, we find ourselves being more and more deeply immersed in the extraordinary power of Christ risen and active in our midst. Thus Easter faith keeps on revealing the hidden paths by which we are to become true Easter people.