May 4, 2020
by Cindy Costanzo
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 279

Acts 11:1-18
Psalms 42:2-3; 43:3, 4
John 10:11-18

Celebrating Easter Home

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Finding Hope in the Easter Season

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Today’s scripture readings on the Good Shepherd takes me back to the rolling hills of the Basque country in Spain. I was blessed to be part of a  pilgrimage and our group was on a bus traveling to Manresa, Spain. The beautiful countryside from a distant had hundreds of white dots which up close were sheep. A beautiful peaceful serene picture of sheep grazing on the hillside. Even when we left the countryside and were in town I found homes with one or two sheep grazing in the backyard. I think of the tender love and care the owners gave to these sheep. The owners were shepherds ensuring their sheep were nourished, fed, had shelter, and were kept safe.

Jesus as my shepherd provides undeniable love, nourishment, shelter and protection. If  I wander away Jesus searches for me and welcomes me back. Jesus is not exclusive but inclusive and welcomes everyone …”I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold….these also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock”. Jesus embraces us all, we belong and do not have to earn the love and protection provided. 

I welcome this and find time to pause, sit quietly, contemplate  the following questions, and listen for the response.

What does it mean to be a sheep in Jesus flock?
Do I trust the Good Shepherd to watch over me?
Do I listen and know the voice of my Good Shepherd?
Have I spent enough time in silence and alone to recognize my Good Shepherd’s voice?
What is my response to the Good Shepherd?

Where have I been a Good Shepherd?
Where have I walked away “like the hired hand” when I was needed?
Where are the wolves in our lives? Busyness, achievement, needing approval, being in control, anger and resentment?
Where have I not accepted others, discriminated against others, shunned others and not welcomed them to my fold?
When have I resisted sharing my faith, my gifts from God with others?

On this day I embrace Jesus love for me, I sit quietly and listen, and I welcome the beautiful images of the Good Shepherd in my life.

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