Good Shepherd Sunday


Good Shepherd Sunday

“My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

Each year, we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vocations on the Fourth Sunday of Easter. It is a time for us to reflect on our particular vocation within the larger vocation of being disciples of Jesus.

While the passage from John’s Gospel gives us an encouraging word, we recognize that there is a demanding element to being a disciple. Jesus gave his life in faithfulness, even though he did not know where it would ultimately lead. Even as he suffered his passion and hung dying on the cross, he continued to bear witness to the love of God which would never abandon him.

The passage from The Acts of the Apostles details the trials and tribulations of Paul and Barnabas in Antioch. While there was a favourable response to the Good News proclaimed by Paul and Barnabas, there was also opposition from the Jewish officials who then stirred up the cities leaders to drive Paul and Barnabas from the city. It was not the only trial suffered by Paul, but he trusted that his Lord who had called him to be an apostle would fill him with the gifts he needed to persevere and to find life in his vocation.

The Book of Revelation speaks of those “who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Again, we hear the promise that those who persevere in their faith and vocation will be guided by their shepherd and all tears will be wiped away from their eyes.

As I reflect on my own vocation as an Oblate, I remember the good times as well as the difficulties on the journey. At times it seemed that the difficulties outweighed the blessings, but in hindsight I recognize that the blessing far outweighed any difficulties. The difficulties seemed huge at times when they occurred, but they were never the end of the experience. The challenge for us is this: if we follow Christ, our Good Shepherd, we follow him where he goes: into the heart of conflict and suffering. But we follow remembering that the love of God will never abandon us.

By Richard Beaudette, OMI
Vocation Team – East