Tag Archives: Good Shepherd

4th Sunday of Easter: We follow the Good Shepherd. Catholic Inspiration

Christ is our Good Shepherd, who leads, defends and calls us through this life.  May we respond to his voice and follow his guidance with full and open hearts.

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of Easter


Catholic Inspiration Archives

16th Sunday of the Year: The shepherd protects and provides for the sheep. Catholic Inspiration

Shepherds brave difficult and stressful conditions in order to protect and provide for the sheep.  The Lord does this for us, and as we conform our hearts to Christ we are strengthened to do the same for one another.

Mass Readings – 16th Sunday of the Year


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

16th Sunday of the Year: The Lord is our shepherd.

Herd of sheep on beautiful mountain meadow

Study:  When in your life have you been in great need and looked to another for help?  When have you been able to help another in great need?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the gift of discernment – to know when to seek help and when to offer it.

Serve:  Name one practical thing you can do to help someone today.  Then do it.

Mass Readings – 16th Sunday of the Year

“His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34)

Have you ever been lost?  Confused?  Drifting, uncertain of the next step in the path of life?  Most of us have been in those dark and difficult places where we feel beaten down by the challenges of life.  Simply put, there are times in life when things get tough and we need to draw on the strength and wisdom of another.

The crowds found this in Jesus.  His words inspired them; his miracles cured them.  As word spread in the surrounding area, more and more people came to hear the Lord and find new life in his presence.  What’s more, he saw their need and responded with pity and love – he longed to guide them and give them hope.

In our need we can, like the crowds, draw near to Christ for our strength.  His mercy has the power to renew and transform our hearts; his grace comes when we allow him room to make a place in our souls.

Furthermore, there are times in our lives when the Lord will empower us to guide and guard others.  Jeremiah foretold that God would appoint shepherds to care for people – God heard their cry when they were led astray and brought them new leaders to gather them together.

Perhaps this week we might see someone in need, someone who the Lord has placed on our path to help.  Perhaps we have others to lead by our word and example, inspiring them to draw to the Great Shepherd who cares for us all.


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Note: This post was originally published on July 14, 2015.

4th Sunday of Easter: The example of the Good Shepherd. Catholic Inspiration

The Good Shepherd offers his life for the care and protection of the sheep.  The Lord’s example inspires us: God calls us – in spite of our imperfections and weaknesses – to care and protect those entrusted to us.  May we call upon the Shepherd for what we need as we continue his service in the world.

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of Easter


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

4th Sunday of Easter: The Lord is my shepherd. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of Easter

In our moments of need we can learn from the Psalmist and say “The Lord is my shepherd” as we face the challenges of life.  What’s more, as we follow Jesus Christ we offer our lives to help one another to seek the Lord as well.


Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

4th Sunday of Easter: The Lord is my shepherd

Study: Consider a time when your drifted in your convictions and faith.  What helped you get back on track?

Pray: Is there something keeping you from the Lord or another person?  Pray for the grace to reconcile.

Serve: Do you know others who are struggling with their faith?  How can you support their journey back to God?

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of Easter

Themes of repentance, baptism, and sheep surface this week.  Take a look:

  • 1st Reading – Peter exhorts the crowd to repent and be baptized
  • Psalm – “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.”
  • 2nd Reading – Christ bore our sins on the Cross, for we were like straying sheep
  • Gospel – The Lord is the gate for the sheep; we must pass through Him

The Scriptures speak of Jesus as both Shepherd and Gate.  Why?  Because like sheep sometimes we find ourselves in trouble, unprotected, abandoned, and in need of serious help.  The shepherd guards and guides the sheep; entry through the gate allows the sheep to pass into a place of safety.

Our human need for help arises from our sins.  While the joy of this Easter season is ringing in our hearts, we still take the time to call to mind our need for the Savior – the Good Shepherd – who offers his life for us.  Indeed, it is the saving death and resurrection of Jesus that we proclaim in every Baptism, Confession, and Eucharist…sacraments that many receive in this holy season.

Knowing that the Lord has freed us from sin and death, we can honestly acknowledge our sins and joyfully offer our gratitude – running to the Lord for the grace and strength we need.

Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

4th Sunday of Easter – Shine! Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 4th Sunday of Easter Homily Podcast

4th Sunday of Easter Readings

The readings this weekend help the heart and strengthen the soul, inviting us to unite as God’s family with the Good News of Christ available to all.


4th Sunday of Easter – Cornerstones in the Shepherd’s Care – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s 4th Sunday of Easter Homily Podcast

How do we face rejection?  How do we confront the obstacles and roadblocks that are part of life?  Two key points surface:

  • Strength
  • Wisdom

May we call upon the Lord for what we need – regardless of our vocation in life – to find our way!

This homily was given at Cathedral of Christ the King on Sunday, April 26, 2015.

4th Sunday of Easter – Shepherd & Stone


Study:  How have I responded to rejection in my life?  What has given me strength?

Pray:  What challenges do I need to set before the Lord today?

Serve:  Who is struggling with rejection in my life?  How can I help and support another?

4th Sunday of Easter Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

At first glance these readings seem to be a jumble: what do stones have to do with shepherds?  How are they connected to the person of Jesus Christ?

A quick overview might look like this:

  • 1st Reading – Jesus was rejected, yet his triumph saves us (a rejected rock becomes the cornerstone)
  • Psalm Response – this is the text that Peter used to describe Jesus in the 1st Reading
  • 2nd Reading – the world does not know Jesus, but his disciples do – and they are being transformed
  • Gospel – Jesus claims that he is the Good Shepherd who knows the sheep and he is willing to lay down his life for them

What we discover points to Jesus as the Lord who has encountered rejection and triumphs through his saving sacrifice.  The power he has comes from the Father, who sent his Son to save us, even when we didn’t understand.  What’s more, God keeps reaching out to us – breaking through our ignorance, weakness and sin – to build a bridge that leads us to new life.

God comes to us, in our need, to save and set us free.

The invitation today is one of acceptance.  Will we embrace the Good News of Christ?  Will we respond to the faith, hope, and love of the Gospel and allow our lives to be touched by God’s blessing?  Is there anything blocking me from reaching out to the Lord?

In the light of Easter glory I would like to suggest some possibilities for spiritual growth:

  • Experience the power of the Sacrament of Confession
  • Dig deep into the Gospel readings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
  • Crank up our prayer lives with a personal devotion, spiritual reading, or time of reflection
  • Strengthen our relationships with the support of Christian fellowship and prayer
  • Commit some time and effort to serve another in need

Thus, the path which the Lord walked becomes our own.  Our spiritual compass – pointed toward Jesus Christ, inspires us to stay the course even when we are mistreated and misunderstood.  Like the shepherd and the stone, we can face rejection with the promise of hope – for we draw strength from the one who triumphed in his struggles to bring triumph to our lives.


The Good Shepherd, Alfred Handel, d. 1946 – photo by Toby Hudson (20 December 2009); stained glass, 770 x 600 pixels, St. John the Baptist’s Anglican Church, Ashfield, New South Wales.



4th Sunday of Easter – The Gate of the Shepherd

sheep gate

Study:  When have I heard the Lord calling me?  How have I responded?

Pray:  Take time to ask Jesus for guidance and strength.

Serve:  How can I support someone who is searching for meaning, purpose, and answers in life?

4th Sunday of Easter Readings        Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

During my travels in Israel, I had the opportunity to visit with some of the Palestinian people who raised sheep in the rocky countryside.  On one of my trips I met a young boy named Ali who was twelve years old.  He was very shy until I asked him if he would show me his sheep.  With a huge smile he took me by the hand and led me out into a small enclosure.

As we approached the sheep Ali began to call them by name – “Ahmed, Azim, Abram” – and so on.  When the animals heard their names, they came one by one to be fed with some grain Ali had brought.  I marveled at how the sheep trusted this little boy, for without fear or worry they came immediately at the sound of his voice.

After a few minutes I asked if I could feed the sheep.  Ali gave me a grin and said, “You can try.”  He handed me some grain and I tried calling the sheep.

“Azim!  Here Azim!”  I kept calling the sheep but they merely looked at me and moved away.  When I realized that the sheep would not come to me I looked at Ali.  His chest swelled with pride and he said, “They only come to me, because they know me!”

A shepherd’s life is not easy.  The sheep must be constantly guarded from wild animals that prey upon them.  Shepherds endure long, lonely hours exposed to the cold and the elements, ensuring that the sheep will always be under constant care.  Because they are together so much, the shepherd knows each sheep, and they respond when called.

In the Gospel today the Lord tells us that he our shepherd and gate.  The image reminds us that we too are cared for and loved by one who is always near, always listening to our needs and seeking our protection.  Our Lord not only loves us, but knows us intimately – better than we know ourselves.

Yet just as the Ali’s sheep made the choice to listen to the shepherd and not to a stranger, so we too make choices in our response to the many voices in our world.  We know that their are many elements in our world that if we heed would only lead to temptation and sin.

The Shepherd invites us each day to follow his call.  Let us hear his words and respond, thus being guided by the one who knows us out of love.

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