Anonymous Master, Christ as the Good Shepherd, Musei Vaticani, Rome, c. 225
Readings for Mass
First Reading: Acts 2:14, 36-41
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
Second Reading: First Peter 2:20-25
Gospel: John 10:1-10
“I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture (NRSV, Jn 10:9).”
Let us pray.
Father, to be a human being is to be related to one another, that is, to share life with one another. One is never truly a human being alone. We are necessarily dependent upon one another but often we fail each other. Even a mother has been known to abandon her children.
There is one, however, who never fails us. It is the Word now made flesh in our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word is with us from the beginning. It is through the Word that every thing that is has been made. It is through the Word that each one of us who is human has been called into existence, Father, and indeed called to share your divine life.
The Word is there from the first moment of our life as human beings. At a certain moment in our mother’s womb he offers us that life which is also a share in your divine life. Without benefit of language or logic, in the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to say “yes,” and to begin our journey to you, Father, as a human being.
From that moment on, the Word never leaves us. He is always there challenging us to grow in life. Even if we turn away in sin and say “no,” he remains ever present to us, calling us to accept forgiveness and new life, Father, from you. The presence of the Word to us at every moment is a defining element of our humanity.
The mother may abandon her children but the Word remains ever with us so that through him, Father, we may always pass to a new and greater share in your divine life.
The Word, now made flesh in the Lord Jesus, is truly the good shepherd. May we ourselves extend his care to all of our sisters and brothers.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.