HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: HE GIVES HIS LIFE COMPLETELY
BY: Fr. Abbot Philip Lawrence
My sisters and brothers in the Lord,
Saint John gives us these words of Jesus: “I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me.” God is seeking us out, just as a shepherd seeks out his sheep. God wants us to be with him, just as the shepherd wants his sheep with him. This Sunday we are invited and challenged to give our lives completely to the Lord.
The first reading today is from the Acts of the Apostles. We could pay attention to just this one sentence: “There is no salvation through anyone else.” So often we want to work our own salvation. Too often we have an idea of what our salvation might mean. Today we are invited to recognize that God saves us in many, many ways. God always invites us to share His life. We are invited to let God be Saviour rather than constantly seeking to save ourselves.
Once we come to recognize Jesus as true Savior, we cannot stop talking about Him to others. We want to share His presence in our lives. We want others to recognize that there is nothing worthwhile in this whole world other than the presence of Jesus. And, for many of us, we do not want to appear to be fanatics in the process. Nevertheless, like the early disciples of Jesus, we will look fanatic whenever we speak about our belief in the Lord Jesus.
The second reading is from the First Letter of Saint John. Saint John tells us: “When it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” We shall see HIM as HE is. This life is about seeking God and seeing only glimpses of the Lord Jesus. Some seem to have more glimpses than others, but God always gives each of us what we need to continue in the seeking of God. In the life of the world to come, we shall see Him as He is.
More importantly, Jesus will also see us as we are, with all of our brokenness, our sinfulness, our failures, our sins and all that we might want to hide from Him. He will still say to us: Come, you blessed of my Father. Enter the Kingdom.
We come back to the Gospel of John. Jesus lays down His life for us. Jesus gives His live over to death in order that we can life forever. We are invited to accept that salvation. Even if we do not fully understand the Lord Jesus or His salvation, we are invited to accept Him and ask Him to save us.
Lord Jesus, risen from the dead, save us and draw us to yourself. Be our shepherd and guide us in this life so that we may all be with you forever in the life of the world to come.
Fr. Abbot Philip Lawrence, OSB Christ in the Desert Monastery, Abiquiu, New Mexico