Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red
Eymard stained glass window

Daily Eucharistic Reflections

April 22, 2024

Today’s Gospel is drawn from Chapter 10 of Saint John’s Gospel, where Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd. We usually see ourselves as the sheep in these familiar passages. After all, Psalm 23 is quite clear: “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” Reflecting on this passage, we are moved to profound thanksgiving for all the Shepherd has done for us, especially for the protection he has provided from thieves and other evildoers. He gives his life for his sheep in the part of John 10 we heard yesterday, on Good Shepherd Sunday.

Pope Francis wears a Good Shepherd cross because we have always regarded bishops as our shepherds, as representatives of the Good Shepherd. It’s no accident that bishops always carry a staff that reminds us of a shepherd’s crook. (Take time to Google “Pope Francis’ Pectoral Cross,” the one he commissioned from an Italian artist when he was named Archbishop of Buenos Aires.)

Reflecting on today’s Gospel and the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we realize that our Baptism makes us shepherds and sheep. We see the shepherd aspect in Peter’s actions in Acts. At our Baptism, after making us children of the Father and siblings of the Son by the pouring of water, the minister also anoints us with sacred chrism, thus empowering us to imitate Christ in his roles as priest, prophet, and king. Shepherds are kings, protecting their ”subjects,” whether sheep or people.

How are we doing in our own lives as sheep (giving thanks daily for our shepherd’s “rod and staff”) and as shepherds (loving each other as Jesus loves us unconditionally)? How can we do better?

Prayer:

Dear Lord, help us to excel as both shepherds and sheep in our everyday lives, spending ample prayer time in conversation with, and consultation with, our shepherd about how best to follow him and time in action shepherding all the sheep in our world, mindful of the Shepherd’s call to “love one another as I have loved you.” We ask for your help through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

 

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