Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
April 29, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 13:14, 43-52
Psalm 100:1-2, 3, 5
Revelation 7:9, 14b-17
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
The Gospel this Sunday is about Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The emphasis is on the voice of Jesus. We can imagine how that voice must have stirred the hearts of all who were disposed to listen to it. How it must have moved people with its authority and its power to persuade.
The voice of Jesus was at times so loving, and at other times so challenging. It was that voice saying to Peter, “Feed my sheep,” that still rang in his ears as he preached boldly to the Sanhedrin; it was that voice crying out, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” that echoed still in the heart of Paul as he and Barnabas preached in the synagogues of Perga and Antioch and Iconium. It was the voice of Jesus which drowned out the vicious lies of all those enemies of truth that tried to choke off the Good News so bravely proclaimed by Peter and Paul.
The readings during the Easter season clearly show us how gladly those great Apostles suffered persecution and even death “for the sake of the Name.” No wonder we call Peter and Paul the great pillars of the early Church who inspired so many others not to fear contempt and bodily harm because the Holy Spirit was with them. Those who followed that voice would be rewarded with a glorious crown.
No wonder that literally millions of Christians have suffered for their faith down through the ages. Millions even today are deprived of human rights, imprisoned and killed just because they are loyal to that voice of the Good Shepherd. Racial hatred, abuse of women, child slavery, and exploitation of the poor, to name but a few, are the effects of strident, angry and evil voices which constantly try to drown out the loving voice of the Good Shepherd who proclaims justice for the oppressed.
This Sunday is also National Vocation Sunday. There must be courageous and caring young men and women who will listen attentively to that pleading voice of Jesus who needs their help in feeding and caring for His needy children. Today we all must pray that they will respond promptly and generously to His voice.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(pwhitmore29 at yahoo dot com)
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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