Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Good Shepherd Sunday or Easter 4A

More thoughts on Good Shepherd Sunday;

Reading I: Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Responsorial Psalm: 23: 1-3a, 3b4, 5, 6
Reading II: 1 Peter 2:20b-25
Gospel: John 10:1-10

I don't know much about sheep, really, except what I have read. I have seen them and petted them. I have been to England and Germany where I saw sheep, and sheep being herded. So it makes it hard for me to think in terms of sheep, and to relate to this passage. I live in Alabama where if we see anything it is cows and goats. A friend of mine told me her husband has started raising goats, and wants to be known as "Mr. Goat-man" of Ala. I asked her was there really that much interest in goats these days. And she said oh yes, well I sure didn't know that. And what about sheep is there really any interest in sheep these days?

Well, we know from these scriptures that God is interested in and takes care of his sheep. And that he wants all to be in his fold. Fr. John Foley at the center for Liturgy does a good job tying in the facts about sheep with the idea of us being the sheep. He ends with this; "
Sometimes the phrase, 'people are sheep,' is deemed an insult. This Sunday it is the greatest compliment we could get." Go read what he writes and then think about what he says. Ask yourself and God is it the greatest compliment we can get?
Read Sarah Dylan's comments about sheep also.

Psalm 23 begins with that wonderful declaration; {1} The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
1 Peter 2 ends with this statement; {25} For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
John 10:
{2} The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. {3} The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

What is it about being referred to as sheep bothers you?
What is it about being referred to as sheep comforts you?
What is it about God/Jesus as Shepherd draws you to him?
What is it about God/Jesus as Shepherd repels you?

Think of your own self, what characteristics in your personality is like sheep and what is not?
What about yourself needs the good shepherd?
How have you been listening to and following the thief? How have you been affected by this?

Where in your life has the Good Shepherd come into your life, protected you, healed you comforted you, fed you or anointed you? Are you needing the good shepherd now?

How are we as followers today like sheep?

Picture of Sheep in "Baie de Somme" in the north of France.


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