FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C.
8th May 2022
Acts 13:14,43-52; Apocalypse 7:9,14-17; John 10:27-30.
The unity of the church is expressed in the gospel using the imagery of the shepherd and the sheep. Jesus made a bold claim that the he knows his sheep and they listen to his voice. They will not follow a stranger because he gives them eternal life. Eternal life guarantees the safety of the sheep. Eternal life guarantees the Christian faith. How true is this claim in the modern world?
What is likened to eternal life in our modern world is the calm and peaceful life of non-violence. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus established a kingdom of peace, a non-violent kingdom. He forgave his executioners before his death and after his resurrection, he commanded his disciples to preach the good news of his kingdom of peace. The Christian is one who values peace that comes through sacrificial love. Our faith helps us to always seek for peace in every situation. We are ready to sacrifice for peace to reign. This is what Jesus meant when he said that no one will ever steal his sheep. The eternal life he gives us is the peace which our hearts yearn for each day.
The sheep that seek for peace will always listen to the voice of the shepherded. His peaceful voice will suppresses every other voice. Only peace can guarantee our safety in the modern world. This is the advantage of the Christian faith. Let us remain united as members of his body, the church.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.