YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER (2)

YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER

HOMILY THEME: THE FATHER’S LOVE

BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon

YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER

HOMILY THEME: THE FATHER’S LOVE

BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon

 

HOMILY: (Jn. 10:1-10) Fourth Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday

In today’s Gospel, Good Shepherd Sunday and World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Jesus adopts the image of the shepherd and his sheep to illustrate His and the Father’s regard for us. Like the shepherd, Jesus knows each and everyone of us and will protect us no matter what. No one can take us away from Him.

Unfortunately we do not have sheep in our country. It follows that we are not fully aware of the life of a shepherd. What we have usually are herds of cattle, carabao, or goats. As to whether their shepherd loves the same as the sheep’s shepherd, we do not know. Scriptures describe the shepherd and his relation to his sheep well. Notable is the readiness of the shepherd to defend the sheep with his own life. Two threats, from robbers and wild beasts, face a shepherd everyday. He prepares himself to face these two dangers. He makes sure that both do not take any of his sheep. The relationship between the shepherd and his sheep is so close and committed that Jesus thought it best to use them to show how the the Father and Him love us.

The parables of Jesus let us in on this love of the Father for us. The parable of the Prodigal Son, the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and His teachings on forgiveness all conspire to paint a Father who loves His children and wants His children to always be with Him. He goes out to seek us. He knew that our place is with Him. Thus, when we come back, He welcomes us back.

This welcome, though unconditional, needs responsibility in order to stay with the Father. He welcomed the repentant prodigal son. He did not throw a stone at the adulterous woman but told her to sin no more. God cannot welcome our sins. He wants them out of our person. The Father’s mercy entails freeing us from sin and punishment. For how can He truly be merciful and loving if He lets us live with our sin? True loving is not tolerating evil but helping the person be freed from it. If we want to be with God, we must be listeners to Him like the sheep. We follow His voice and no other. We belong to Him and He would never let us be out of His arms.


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